Personal Achievement and Community Employment

Across the country, there is a movement to work with individuals with disabilities to help them obtain and retain gainful employment in the community.  The focus here in Ohio is primarily on transitional youth, as the belief is that these individuals have a better chance of becoming employed.

TuscBDD recently started PACE U. The program is designed to serve youth that have recently exited the education system and are ready to work in the community. The program is two tiered with one tier which focuses on job readiness through classroom training and the other tier consists of paid internships at actual worksites.

The classroom training focuses on employment skills such as punctuality, work ethics, positive attitude, communication, hygiene and proper attire, interviewing, resume writing, and career exploration. When possible, community members (retired teachers, business people, etc.) run the classroom sessions with the support of the PACE U coach. 

The paid internships are conducted at actual worksites where the youth perform their various job responsibilities and receive minimum wage.  The worksite sessions last three hours per day, five days per week, and the youth do three ten week rotations. The PACE U coach and Job coaches  work with the youth at the worksites.

TuscBDD finds that the highest rate of success comes when the youth have an extended period of training. TuscBDD believes that the 30 week internship program optimizes efforts to find employment for these transitional youth. 

For information about transition-age employment efforts, please refer to the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) Customized employment guide (available here). 

For more information about PACE U, contact TuscBDD Adult Day Services location by calling 330-339-3578.