Missouri Program To Create Jobs For Youth With Disabilities

5 years 10 months 1 week ago Wednesday, January 30 2013 Jan 30, 2013 Wednesday, January 30, 2013 4:25:00 PM CST January 30, 2013 in News
By: Gina Cook
loading

COLUMBIA - Imagine only 20 percent of the population is employed and your chances of obtaining a job are slim because of something you cannot change. Advocates say that is the reality for people with disabilities, but a new state program is trying to change those odds.

The Show-Me-Careers project launched this month to give eight pilot communities in Missouri the ability to create more job opportunities for youth with disabilities, ages 16-30. Columbia is one of the communities receiving the grant and it is getting the maximum amount of $65,000.

John Savage, the director of Alternative Community Training, is the chair of Columbia's board for the project. He said a major task for the program is to build partnerships with businesses that are willing to give people with disabilities a chance.

"We all have a pre-conceived notion of what disability means, including me," Savage said.

Savage said getting business owners to let go of those pre-conceived notions is key. One way the project will reach out to businesses is with the advice of board member Kat Cunningham, local business owner of Moresource, Inc.

Another board memeber, Michael Evans, is blind and said an employer would not hire him because of his disability. Evans, 23, is a student at Moberly Area Community College's Columbia campus and is furthering his education to improve his chances of getting a job.

"With my visual impairment, people believe that there's a lot of things that I can't do," Evans said.

Savage hopes Evans' personal experience as a youth with a disability will lend the board the perspective needed to improve Columbia's opportunities for workers with disabilities.

"We as service providers kind of get our head down and think we know what we should be doing and how we should be doing it and to get the perspective of an individual who's going through it from the other side can be very helpful," Savage said.

Once the project establishes business partnerships, it will focus on two other goals: preparing people with disabilities for work and better coordinating Columbia's service systems.

Preparing individuals for work is something many of the service systems already do, but Savage said this program focuses on youth for a reason.

"Helping students and other individuals in that 18 to 30 age range kind of devlop their skills and their knowledge of the job market so that they can better prepare to be apart of that job market is a big part of helping people become successfully employed," Savage said.

Jessica Fulton is one of 150 people with a disability employed through ACT's career services. Fulton is mentally handicapped and said she is thankful for the opportunity to help provide for her parents and siblings.

"I [needed] to get out of the house and not sit at the house so long," Jessica said. "This job pays the bills and puts food in the house ... and that's why this job was so important."

Other service systems on the board for the project include:

Boone County Family Resources
Vocational Rehabilitation
Services for Independent Living
Columbia Public Schools

The board wants to add at least 57 more entry-level job opportunities like Jessica's over the span of the next three years. Savage said job opportunities for people with disabilities should continue to grow after the grant ends in three years because business partnerships will be well establshed.

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Prosecutor's Office charged Mizzou defensive end Tre Williams with domestic assault, court records confirm. ... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 4:10:00 PM CST December 12, 2018 in News
MEXICO - Police arrested a parent of a Mexico Middle School student after he allegedly made threats towards a staff... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 2:24:00 PM CST December 12, 2018 in News
NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Cohen, who as President Donald Trump's personal lawyer and fixer once vowed he would "take... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 11:42:00 AM CST December 12, 2018 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - A Lincoln University student died Tuesday night in an off campus incident. Students arrived on a... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 11:22:00 AM CST December 12, 2018 in Top Stories
PAGEDALE (AP) — Authorities say two children were wounded in suburban St. Louis after a toddler found a pistol in... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 11:07:23 AM CST December 12, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police are investigating after a person died from a gunshot wound Tuesday night. Wednesday the Jefferson... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 9:17:00 AM CST December 12, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mayor Brian Treece and other special guests will meet Monday to announce the future of Columbia’s holiday parade... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 3:29:00 AM CST December 12, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA- Volunteer hours for the City of Columbia are down from last year. In Columbia, volunteers served 39,204 hours... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, December 12 2018 Dec 12, 2018 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 3:10:00 AM CST December 12, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A second-degree domestic assault charge against Missouri Football defensive end Tre Williams will not be filed, according... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 8:24:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - An investigation into a First Student bus concern has lead to an increased police presence in one... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7:29:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - After almost three years, Jefferson City now has new and improved fire trucks. Jefferson City Fire... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 7:03:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Neighbors on Lasso Circle in Columbia's Old Hawthorne neighborhood feel safe, but are more vigilant exactly a year... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 6:07:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
FULTON - Fulton Soup Kitchen is working to open its new location in Fulton, but a $1,700 utilities down payment... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 5:18:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
OZARK, Mo. (AP) — The southwest Missouri city of Ozark that had said it was removing a Christian cross from... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 5:17:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The Columbia Police Department is investigating a death downtown. CPD announced the investigation on Twitter just after 4... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 4:44:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — An eastern Missouri doctor has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for prescribing... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:48:09 PM CST December 11, 2018 in Continuous News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City man who told officers he was planning to kill someone and was "kinda... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:42:49 PM CST December 11, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - As Missouri's Secretary of State waits for a response from the State Auditor, a political expert weighed... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 11 2018 Dec 11, 2018 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 2:41:00 PM CST December 11, 2018 in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 49°
6pm 48°
7pm 46°
8pm 43°
9pm 41°