MercuryNews.com: Since its founding four years ago, the WorkAbility Program in Concord, Calif., had placed per year an average of 110 students with disabilities in paid on-the-job training positions—students like Evan Thomas, who works in a deli and learns math and independent living skills. The program serves as a bridge between would-be employers and developmentally disabled young people who want to live, work and learn in mainstream society.
“We look for what they can do rather than what they can’t do,” said Spectrum Center vocational coordinator Ray Myslewski. The workers are paid minimum wage through grant money and work a few hours a week at first. “Employers look for skills that are transferable to a work environment: Being able to be a member of a team, manage time, work with tools safely, have good boundaries with customers and fellow workers, and show up when you are supposed to.”
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