The United Rehabilitation Services is helping young people with disabilities in the Clark County area gain vocational skills. The organization is helping students get hands on training regarding the employment process.
URS has started a Summer Youth Program, which is a 6-week class serving young people with disabilities between the ages of 18 to 22. The class will teach 35 youths from Clark, Champaign, Madison and Miami Counties about job interview skills, creating cover letters and resumes, and how to fill out applications.
Dennis Grant is the executive director of URS, he believes that this type of training is critical to help students with disabilities get prepared to enter the world of work when they graduate.
"We're finding most of the students that participate in this have a much higher percent of employment post graduation. And it's very important for the community because if you look at the latest census data, it indicates that three out of every four individuals with disabilities ages 16 to 64 are currently unemployed and many of those are underemployed working only part-time and possibly not having benefits," Grant said.
Grant says that students in the summer program are working at six job sites to learn a wide range of skills.
"Not only do we have a number of governmental organizations and local municipalities who are providing opportunities, but we also have local employers who are creating chances for these students to develop their skills before they graduate," Grant said.
The Summer Youth Program allows students to rotate through different jobs every two to three weeks based on their interests and abilities. A job coach provides on-site supervision and support throughout the training period.