Students with Disabilities Graduate from Job-Training Program and Enter an Integrated Workforce
June 17, 2018
Elisabeth Sweet, Community Engagement Specialist, ServiceSource
(Wilmington, DE) Three youth with disabilities graduated from ServiceSource Delaware’s FrameWORK for Success Program on Thursday, July 17, 2018.
Through a partnership with the Brandywine School District and New Castle County Vocational-Technical (NCCVT) School District, the three-year FrameWORK Program gives recent high school graduates with disabilities the opportunity to learn a diverse array of job skills. Skills include communication, adaptability, financial awareness, and networking.
“We are here to celebrate abilities and self-determination,” said Nathalie Princilus, Special Education Transition Coordinator of the NCCVT School District.
Former Governor of Delaware Jack Markell was the keynote speaker at this year’s graduation, marking the 10th anniversary of the FrameWORK Program. Governor Markell advocated for the competitive employment rights for people with disabilities throughout his service. on Thursday Governor Markell spoke about the benefits of an integrated workplace, and the personal contributions FrameWORK graduates make every day.
Honored guests included The Honorable Rita Landgraf, former Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Human Services; Dr. Victoria Gehrt, Superintendent of NCCVT School District; and Dr. Clifton Hayes, Principal of Delcastle Technical High School.
The Class of 2018 includes Shane Sutherland, Cameron Duckett, and Malik Gillum. Shane and Malik secured employment at Bank of America through the FrameWORK Program. “I hope to retire from Bank of America someday,” said Malik. Cameron secured employment at Skipjack Diner.
The unique aspect of the FrameWORK Program is the focus on job exploration. Participants volunteer with local business partners in the Delaware community while applying learned skills and developing vocational skillsets. Students pursue a job or industry they are interested in, with the help of their ServiceSource Employment Consultants and Job Coaches.
“As they go through the program, they’re learning job skills and learning to be more independent,” says Rich Katz, FrameWORK for Success Program Manager, “By the time they graduate, […] they have a job. I think the most important thing about having a job is self-worth. Beyond the paycheck, it really gives the student a sense of pride.”
The graduation ceremony also celebrated past graduates of the FrameWORK Program, many of whom have secured full-time employment in the local community. Former Governor Markell and Former Secretary Rita Landgraf received recognition for their career-long dedication to supporting people with disabilities.
The FrameWORK Program serves a crucial need for youth with disabilities in the Delaware community. Without the opportunities embedded in the program, students with disabilities might not have the same chances to enter the workforce. Integrated workplaces are vital to an inclusive community.
ServiceSource is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to facilitate services and partnerships to support people with disabilities, their families, their caregivers and community members in order to build more inclusive communities. ServiceSource serves more than 25,000 individuals with disabilities a year in ten states and the District of Columbia.