PDT Staff Writer
Laurie Green, community employment team leader for the Vocation Station, says training is an essential component to obtaining any employment position. The Vocation Station, a branch of the Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities, was recently awarded the 2012 Griffin-Hammis Associates’ Appalachia Microenterprise Award.
“This allows us to offer a training series to individuals in our area to be able to acquire an Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission and national recognized Community Employment (CE) Specialist Certificate,” Green said.
Green said the CE Personnel Certificate Training Series provides competency-based training to community rehabilitation personnel as well as other community business partners. The program is a five-tier classroom curriculum that introduces critical elements of both wage and self-employment.
“The classes are half-way through the series,” said Green, “and what we want to do at the next level is begin a Community Action Team that will focus on the employment needs for our community.”
Green said the group will be comprised of business owners, politicians, members of civic organizations and family members of individuals with developmental disabilities.
“This award has allowed us to provide some critical education to those who want to grow with us in our community employment endeavors, but we also want to continue to grow these efforts for years to come,” she explained.
The Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities (SCBDD), is also partnering with Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (RSC) to hold the annual Bridges to Transition Summer Program to aid in developing employment services for youth as they transition from school to employment. The Bridges Program is offered by 37 counties in Ohio, and more than 1,500 individuals statewide are being served by the program.
“The overall goal of the Bridges Program is to enhance career exploration options. The summer program allows us to build skills that the individuals will need to find and keep a job and also provide paid work experiences at different job sites” said Todd Martin, Vocational Rehabilitation coordinator at the Vocation Station.
Martin said the program helps to increase employment outcomes by developing a collaborative network of services that will assist students in achieving their employment goals.
“The students participate in classroom activities as well as tour local businesses to learn more about the career options available to them,” said Rachel Lenegar, transition specialist at the Vocation Station. “While touring, they have the ability to learn, hands-on, what it is like to work at the businesses we visit.”
Bridges focuses on transitional youth, ages 14 to 22, who are eligible for SCBDD and RSC services. Classes are held during the summer and consist of a five-week program of classroom learning and hands-on experiences.
More information on opportunities is available for individuals with developmental disabilities at www.sciotodd.org, on facebook at Scioto County Board of DD or Twitter @SciotoDD.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at email@example.com.