Services for Independent Living host a week long job workshop

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COLUMBIA - Services for Independent Living provided a week long job preparation workshop for students with disabilities. 

The center received a grant from vocational rehabilitation the past two years which allows them to hold this workshop.

The workshop teaches the students different skills and resources to help them get a job. Each day there was a different objective: looking up jobs, writing resumes, filling out applications, disclosure and accommodations and mock interviews. 

Mark Ohranberg is the communication services, youth advocate and he said as a person with a disability, being employed is very important for your quality of life. 

"That impacts how you meet people, what you can do in life, or social things for fun with groups at work. We think this is just one aspect that will snowball into improving the person's quality of life," Ohranberg said.

Cynthia Floyd is the youth advocate, independent living specialist and she said she knows that this is an effective program because it helps the students develop confidence and the skills that they need.

"Because in the beginning, sometimes they can't say what their skills are, even though deep down there are things they know that they do well, but its how can they articulate that, so thats been incredibly helpful to them," Floyd said.

Floyd said last year was their first year doing the job workshop but they changed the way they approached the program this year because they wanted to literally step them through everything throughout the course of one week. 

"They'd have a resume in hand, could fill out an application, and the ones we are working with this year are very interested in jobs, so if we could leave them with these things as they are heading out the door Friday, we feel like they will be better prepared than spreading it over the entire summer, " Floyd said. 

This workshop kick starts the program the center will have throughout the summer to help the students with jobs and volunteering opportunities.