The Fox Cities Chamber, in partnership with other area employers and several nonprofit organizations, including WisconSibs, is sponsoring an event to bring our community together to discuss how we can provide more opportunities for youth with disabilities to get work experience and find jobs.
The free event will be held on September 22 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Miron Construction Co. Dinner will be served at 5:00pm. Lisa Malak from Local Live at 5 will host the evening. EMPLOYERS, FAMILIES, TEACHERS, YOUTH WITH DISABILITIES are welcome to attend. It is FREE, but registration is required by September 16.
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This is a project of our state’s Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD), a federal and state supported Developmental Disabilities Council. Every state is mandated to have one. The charge is to advocate for a better life – mental and physical health, employment, and good quality of life – for all people with a disability.
This project is the result of a 5 year, multi-million dollar grant to partner with DWD (DVR) and the Department of Health Services to run a research project called Promise. Promise is about connecting youth with disabilities with the services they need to be successful in school and eventually in college and/or employment. The goal is to measure whether or not youth whose families receive intensive services from a DVR counselor will be successfully employed after 5 years. In order to qualify youth must have a disability and be eligible for social security benefits based on income.
One part of the grant is to hold community conversations across the state bringing together the families, local employers, school staff, and community leaders. It will be a time when the youth can be exposed to real employers and talk to them about what the employers are looking for in their employees. It’s also a time to discuss how we as a community can make our workforce more diverse and leverage the resources that exist in the community as well as provide opportunities for youth and their families to meet prospective employers. Since the start of the community conversations, several youth have been offered interviews on the spot.
The goal of bringing everyone together is to
- Create new relationships and broaden the local network
- Learn about community resources (resources that support families, resources that help businesses successfully hire people with disabilities, etc.)
- Gain new perspectives and have an opportunity to voice different viewpoints (families get to share their ideas; business leaders get to share their needs and ideas, etc.)
- Identify new strategies that can help solve the issue of youth unemployment
- Recognize roles in helping to solve the issue.
If you have any questions about BPDD or this project, call or email Beth Moss at 608-266-5038 or [email protected].