With good training programs and careful matching of ability, most people with disabilities can be gainfully employed. The Division of Career Development offers work experience and training to individuals to help them make the transition into the workforce and a network of services that assist them in reaching their individual goals. A vocational evaluation is performed to assess a person’s abilities, academic levels, physical capacity and interests in order to identify their strengths as they relate to employment. Job placement services assist individuals in obtaining employment and job coaching services help individuals learn their job duties, meet the demands of work, follow the work schedule and relate well with co-workers and supervisors.
The computer lab is equipped with 25 workstations that include adaptive equipment for those in need of accommodations. The Training Program provides individuals with skills training in the proper operation and use of a computer. An orientation to the Windows Operating System, program applications, and keyboarding skills are presented. The Office Suite of Programs is taught to individuals who wish to pursue employment utilizing a computer. Personal enrichment classes are taught to individuals in Day Programs and Supported Employment to assist them in learning to use a computer as well as improving their reading, math, and reasoning skills.
Food Service Employment Training
The food service industry in Palm Beach County provides the greatest opportunity for participants in this program to secure and maintain employment. Individuals receive training preparing and serving over 100 meals daily in TJ’s Cafe, the Center’s cafeteria. Training helps develop skills performing duties that include food preparation, cooking, dishwasher, cashier, server, and the opportunity to obtain the Food Safety Handling certificate. This is the only food service training program in Palm Beach County that provides a wage to individuals while in training.
The Production Department provides work and work training to individuals in an industrial setting. The focus of this program is to assist individuals in improving their functioning level of vocational independence. Individuals are paid a commensurate wage based on the quality and quantity of work performed as compared to community employment standards. Jobs are broken down into component steps in order to assure that everyone is capable of doing some parts of jobs coming into the production areas regardless of work pace or ability.
Work training is conducted in order for participants to learn transferable skills and the soft skills needed for employment in the community. Soft skills include communication skills, interpersonal skills, accepting supervision and correction appropriately, and learning the expectations of employers in today’s labor market. Participants also build their endurance levels so that they are physically, mentally, and emotionally ready to be employed.