Spotlight: National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Two men sitting across from each other for an interview

Jon Cauchi, Youth Transition Specialist

The Youth Transition Department runs their GPS (Gaining Pre-employment Skills) program with local schools that are partnered with Michigan Rehabilitation Services. These programs allow youth with disabilities to be better prepared for entering the workforce. Students participating in this program get to practice filling out applications, create a resume, and learn how to interview.

By increasing the students understanding of what is expected with these key areas to gaining employment Disability Advoactes staff is able to increase the students access to employment. Furthermore the capstone to this program is a mock interview event where local employers volunteer to give the students the ability to practically use what they learned in the GPS program.

“The youth I work with gain more confidence and understanding on the process towards employment. We do this by talking about it as peers, breaking things down, and most importantly having fun”, says Jon Cauchi, YTS staff and co-creator of GPS program.

Jon continues, “The coolest thing is when I walk in to a school to start a new group and past students are asking their teachers if they can do the program again, because now that they have a job, they have seen the process, want to share their experience, and learn more.”

As part of the National Disability Employment Month, we spotlight mentoring and preparing our children with disabilities for the workforce.

For more information on this program, and other ways to get involved, contact us at 616-949-1100.

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Jon Cauchi, Youth Transition Specialist

Nicole Rodammer, Development Director

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