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Summer program helps T-County youth with developmental disabilities work toward goals

Finding a job is not easy. But for some people, the challenge is greater than just filling out an application and playing the waiting game. Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities (TCBDD) partnered with Vocational Rehabilitation Public and Private Partners (VRP3) for the fourth annual summer youth work program.

VRP3 sponsored its fourth annual summer youth work program. The six-week work program ran June 10 through July 19, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon. TCBDDs Independence (community employment) program was the service provider. There were a total of 12 participants --six participants with Independence, four participating with Goodwill and two with Creative Rehab. This is up from last year which had eight participants, all from Independence. Tim Everline, Independence manager, stated, We are pleased to see the increase in provider involvement. The participants ranged in age from 17 to 22 and had to be eligible for VRP3 to participate.

The purpose of the summer youth work program was to help the participants improve their work skills and give them job-seeking skills and life skills training. The Summer Youth Program is a great way for the students and job coaches to assess the present skill levels, and what skill areas need to be improved. It also serves to give the students a heightened level of responsibility, as they must get themselves up and be ready to start work by 8 a.m. During the course of the six-week program, we see the students begin to mature and grow, said Everline.

Every Monday the participants had classroom instruction on job seeking and life skills training at Starlight Enterprises, Inc. Tuesday through Friday participants worked in the community at one of two sites, Kent State University Tuscarawas Campus and The Schoenbrunn Inn and Suites in New Philadelphia. Participants worked three weeks at each site. After the summer youth work experience, the participants work with a job developer to help them find a job. We want to express our appreciation to the employers that provided work for the students, stated Everline.

Published: August 16, 2013
New Article ID: 2013708169979