Building Skills Through Employment Opportunities
Volunteers of America is committed to providing innovative vocational training and promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities in community life. Volunteers of America has been providing pre-vocational services to individuals who have developmental disabilities or other disabilities which might impair daily living functions since 1992. At the Day Program, they earn a wage by completing tasks which build vocational skills and allow them to move up to more complex tasks that pay a higher wage rate.
Without previous work experience, it is difficult for an adult with a disability to secure and maintain a job in the mainstream workforce. The Day Program exists to provide education and training to the program participants so they may attain higher levels of achievement and go on to lead increasingly productive lives. Pre-vocational education helps the people we serve gain a skill set, achieve a level of self-sufficiency and build relationships in their community. Maintaining employment stimulates participants’ minds, increases the participants’ self-esteem and provides a way for many of them to sustain their living situations.
Paid contracts through various businesses and private entities generate a vital portion of the program’s operating expenses. Individuals working in the program provide the necessary contracted services, which include sorting, folding, or shredding documents, and collating, sealing and labeling items to be mailed. Some individuals also stock and maintain vending machines at various Volunteers of America sites. Through a grant from the Wilson Foundation, the Day Program is enhancing and growing its janitorial services venture, and participants will soon be able to provide contracted services to local businesses.