For 50 years PRIDE Industries has been creating jobs for people with disabilities. However, those jobs are not always within PRIDE. Last year, PRIDE’s dedicated employment services team prepared, placed and supported 533 people with disabilities who work in the community either directly for employers, or as part of a supported employment group. In fact, PRIDE is the largest service provider creating community employment in the state of California.
Creating Community Employment Success
Whether people with disabilities find work within PRIDE or in the community, our job skills training and supports are at the center of their success. When people with disabilities come to PRIDE, they may have worked in the community unsuccessfully, or they may not have every worked.
We begin with a personal assessment to determine what their current skill level is and understand what they believe they would like to do. It’s not quite as simple as filling in the gap between skill and aspiration, however.
Sometimes, people have difficulty envisioning their potential until they start taking small steps toward it. They may have had a negative experience working in the community, or they may not have had any experience at all. So we have to overcome negative perceptions and help people to understand what opportunities do exist. We go to work helping to educate, build hard and soft work skills, and to help people navigate workplace relationships, employer expectation, and even transportation.
But training without opportunity means disappointment in the end. That is why our job developers are working hard every day to build an expansive employer network. These are community employers who understand that the same qualities that help a person rise above their disability are the most sought after in the workplace: resilience, determination, and persistence in pursuit of a goal. We have more than 180 community employers in our network today – and the numbers keep growing.
When people are ready, they can move to community employment in a couple of different ways. They can go directly to work for an employer. We call this ‘individual placement.’ PRIDE finds the employment opportunity, places the individual in the right job, and then ensures that both the employer and their new employee receive the training they need to be successful together.
The other path benefits individuals who are ready to work in the community, but need more support. It is called ‘supported employment.’ Groups of three individuals with disabilities are supported by a job coach who works side-by-side with them to ensure that they continue to receive the training, assistance and mentoring needed to achieve their goals.
With a staff of 14 job developers closely connected to their communities and job coaches who prepare and support employees, PRIDE Industries’ community placement results defy national trends and continue to grow.
Whether an individual with a disability finds fulfillment working with PRIDE, or wants to pursue employment with a community employer, our focus is on skills development, preparation and placement according to their unique needs and dreams.
Community employment is an essential component of our mission to create jobs for people with disabilities. For more information on PRIDE’s person – centered services visit: prideindustries.com/people/people-services/individual-supported-community-employment.
Make a difference for individuals with disabilities:
- Recognize and support businesses that employ individuals with disabilities.
- Contact PRIDE Industries at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how your business can employ individuals with disabilities.
Together we can change lives…one job at a time.