Summit DD’s Transportation department recently began a project regarding cameras on the Agency’s buses. The security company shocked us by not only solving the need for quality security, but also offering an idea that furthers the Agency’s vision of inclusion and integrated employment. How did Media 144 Security Solutions do this? The owners suggested using this project as an opportunity for vocational exploration. Their remarkable idea is now providing hands-on training that could lead to competitive employment.
More than a Vendor
“We initially chose Media 144 for this project because they offered the maximum quality for the best price,” explained Transportation Manager, Andy Flor. “But what we got was a partner dedicated to the concept of employment first. It was a huge win-win,” he added enthusiastically.
Director of Transportation, Eldridge Black echoed the sentiment. “The opportunity to take a typical department project and turn it into this kind of collaborative opportunity if so gratifying,” said Black. “The cooperation of people and departments, from Transportation to IT, to Community Employment and the MUI department, is what makes this such a success. It is a testament to the dedication of all involved to the overall vision of Summit DD.”
The project has the security company and its new trainees working side-by-side to install and program cameras on buses throughout the summer. This opportunity gives the trainees a chance to gain valuable job skills that can translate into competitive employment in the future. Competitive community employment brings with it many benefits, including independence, earning potential, improved self-esteem and personal satisfaction.
Not only were the trainees looking forward to this collaboration, but so was Media 144. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to train and teach these guys everything I can,” said Larry Grose, President of Media 144. “They’re going to work right alongside us and learn the whole process. From soldering wire during installation to entering data into the camera system, they’re going to develop a range of professional skills to use in their future careers.”
Media 144 and the trainees wasted no time getting started. On their first meeting, Media 144 began their hands-on instruction. The vocational aspect consists of approximately 50 hours of job preparation and onsite training, teaching skills that are necessary in the security solutions industry. Trainees receive another 50 hours of job readiness guidance, which focuses on skills such as reliability, attitude and productivity, as it relates to employers’ expectations.
At the end of the project, the trainees will walk away with a certificate of completion, a letter of reference, the satisfaction of a job well done, and above all job skills that they can use in the future.