[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_single_image media=”86606″ media_width_percent=”100″][vc_column_text border_color=”transparent”]October is recognized annually as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Skills of Central PA would like take this time to remind everyone that people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health challenges are a vital part of our local workforce.
Skills supports people throughout Central Pennsylvania as they develop the skills needed to prepare for, find, and succeed at work.
Skill’ Employment Training Specialist Brent Wyandt says his favorite part of his job is being able to support people throughout every step of the employment process. “We start from the beginning with teaching them about working and filling out applications. We do career assessments; figure out where they would want to work. We take them out to job sites, do job try-outs, work with them to get experience and learn.” Finally, our Employment Services teams help people find jobs that fit their goals and interests, and give them all the training and support needed to succeed in those jobs. Brent says that “it’s very fulfilling to see them reach their goals of obtaining community employment.”
Skills’ Employment Services team also relies on the willingness of local businesses to partner with us and to provide meaningful, satisfying paid work opportunities for people living with disabilities.
As a result of the staffing shortages many businesses are facing, we’ve seen increased interest in hiring people through our employment services program, and our new employment partners have seen first-hand how much value, heart, and joy the people living with disabilities support bring to work.
Will Fick is a young man who works at the Quality Inn in State College. He receives employment services support from Skills. His manager, Rachael Lenhart, says, “Will is such a joy to work with. He comes in every day and the whole staff brightens up when they see him. His co-workers actually fight to get on the schedule with him. We all need our weekly dose of Will.” In addition to brightening up his workplace with his infectious personality, Will is also awesome at his job in the laundry room: “He works hard and the towels are perfect! He catches every single spot on them,” Rachael says.
Will loves his job and the people he works with. “I like folding towels and cleaning the machines,” he says. “I like my co-workers. I am always excited to try new tasks. Next, I’m going to learn how to wrap sandwiches. I also love telling knock-knock jokes. My favorite music to listen to while folding towels is Johnny Cash.”
Matt Prough is the Skills Employment Training Specialist who supports Will. “I enjoy supporting Will,” he explains. “He’s a lot of fun to work with and always tries to put a smile on your face. He knows his job well, and they do a great job supporting him there.”
At Skills, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to explore their interests, earn money, and be fully integrated into their communities. We’re proud to support people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities in their pursuit of employment. We hope that this month will serve to help people outside of our organization realize what an essential part of the workforce people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities are.
The people that Skills supports are ready, able, and excited about finding jobs, and we have many success stories to share. If you own or manage a local business, we strongly encourage you to consider integrating people with disabilities into your workplace. To learn more about the support services that Skills provides or to talk to an Employment Specialist about hiring employees at your business, please contact us![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][/vc_column][/vc_row]