JNCS Now Offers Employment Soft Skills Training For Young Adults With Developmental Disabilities

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[LOS ANGELES, CA] Jay Nolan Community Services, Inc. (JNCS) is excited to announce the Employment Soft Skills Training Program, an innovative 12-week training course for young adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

In the United States, people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) have much lower employment rates than the general population. Lack of secure employment leads to poverty, reliance on permanent disability benefits and a lower quality of life. Historically, we have seen that people with I/DD can complete necessary work tasks, but inexperience with soft skills impedes their ability to sustain jobs or maintain a career. Having a good grasp of soft skills, such as effective networking and interviewing skills, is critical to on-the-job success particularly for young adults with disabilities transitioning out of high school.

The Employment Soft Skills Training Program at Jay Nolan Community Services is designed to address these challenges particularly for young adults with high support needs, Deaf or Hard of Hearing, and those coming from under-served communities. This training curriculum consists of soft-skills training that is critical to success in the workplace. Topics include job matching, networking skills, interview essentials, resume writing, dressing for success, benefits planning, and more. What makes this program unique is the use of real-time translation tools for students with multi-lingual needs and the inclusion of AI/virtual reality tools aimed to simulate and practice the interview process.

Each cohort of ten students will include online training instruction four days per week (4 hours per day) over the course of 8 weeks, with office hours offering additional support on Fridays. The pilot cohort is scheduled for January 2024 (January 15, 2024 – March 8, 2024) and the 2nd Cohort is scheduled for April 8, 2024 – May 31, 2024.

The end result for participants is career readiness and the tools needed for successful employment in a job of their choice. This includes a certificate of completion, a customized cover letter and resume, and an individualized service plan for benefits planning. Participants will also receive post-program support through a referral to the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) for job placement, a $100 stipend for purchasing professional attire, and ongoing VR interview training,

RSVP for the Upcoming ONLINE Informational Meetings:

The Employment Soft Skills Training program is made possible through a grant from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS). This grant from DDS is intended for the purpose of “developing and implementing innovative and replicable strategies and practices to increase paid work experiences and employment opportunities for Californians with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

Eligible participants must be between the age of 18 and 24, living in Los Angeles metropolitan area and the Santa Clarita Valley, and currently being served through the Regional Center. Interested candidates who are Deaf+, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and/or come from multi-cultural and/or multi-lingual households are highly encouraged to apply.

Are you are interested in participating or are you a parent/family member of a possible participant? Please get in touch with us at knavarro@jaynolan.org or call 818-838-5432.

Since 1975, Jay Nolan Community Services has enabled individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities to live fulfilling lives as members of the community by providing support services customized to their individual needs.

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