RAMP receives $20,000 grant for pilot employment program

Staff Report

RAMP has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the community Foundation of Northern Illinois in support of a pilot employment program offered to high school students with disabilities.

RAMP will offer a full complement of skills training that will prepare the students for employment, financial stability and independence.

These services will include: job readiness, job development and case management.

This program will help students with disabilities obtain new skills and on the job training, secure volunteer work, internships and job mentoring opportunities with the objective of gaining confidence and experience, connecting with potential employers and job leads, on-going case management and employment assistance.

The hopes are that this program will make an impact that is long lasting and focuses on utilizing the strengths and diversity of our community.

Youth with disabilities will be fully integrated into society by furthering their education, working and/or aspiring to reach their future goals.

Statistics indicate that there is only an 8 percent turnover rate among individuals with disabilities compared to the overall rate of 45 percent with the general population according to a Institute for a Competitive Workforce survey.

This indicates that these students will become long-term employees who will make an impact by offering their skills, strengths and passion to the success of the community.

The program will have clear, measurable outcomes attached to ensure the success moving forward.

This program will also encourage cooperation with the school districts and community at large while creating efficiencies to replicate the program in other schools without duplication of services.

This pilot will provide the final piece to the entire Youth Services Continuum in which RAMP provides services starting in pre-K through 12th grade and beyond.

The programs within RAMP’s continuum such as iBelong, Ignite, RAMP’s Transition Assessment and Planning and Teens in Transition are the building blocks to ensure students with disabilities are successful as adults by creating an inclusive academic environment of acceptance and teaches the skills and personal responsibilities needed to graduate and pursue post-secondary opportunities.

The pilot employment program is the bridge from high school to employment.

If you are interested in learning more about the employment pilot program for students with disabilities, please contact Jeremy Munson, Employment Services Coordinator, jmunson@rampcil.org.

For information on the iBelong, Ignite or T’NT curriculums contact RAMP’s Youth Services Coordinator, Jennifer Stitt at jstitt@rampcil.org or 815-968-7467.

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