Unconscious Biases Shattering Assumptions and Surprising Ourselves
Ready to make Inclusion a priority at your organization? Contact a member of our Employment Services Team today to get started!
Ready to make Inclusion a priority at your organization? Contact a member of our Employment Services Team today to get started!
Project SEARCH is a business-led transition-to-work program that provides internships to high school students with disabilities. The program was designed to prepare young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities for completive employment in integrated work settings. Fore more than 22 years Project SEARCH has supported thousands of students nationwide and now operates more than 400 locations in six countries, including right here in Prince George’s County!
The Arc Prince George’s operates the only Project SEARCH program in the county in partnership with Prince George’s County Public Schools, The Maryland Department of Rehabilitative Services (DORS), The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) and our 2017 Host site Joint Base Andrews.
Our 2017 Project SEARCH Program featured a 10-month internship rotation program for students with disabilities that combined classroom learning and hands-on work experience through internship rotations throughout Joint Base Andrews.
The combination of instruction and immersion helped prepare the student-interns with skills that match labor needs in today’s integrated workforce. 2017 Project SEARCH graduate Julian Thomas interned at Joint Base Andrews’ Outdoor Recreation Department (ODR) and was offered employment at ODR after graduating the program. Julian’s supervisor Jamal Partman sat down with our Project SEARCH coordinator Eugenia Ebb to share his thoughts about the program and his newest hire.
How did The Arc help you on-board your new employee?
“The Arc provided a lot of information that was useful in getting to know Julian. Things that Julian might not have seen about himself from his perspective. I believe [The Arc] did a great job of being hands-on but not too much to the point where Julian was solely relying on The Arc to provide all communication. [The Arc] really allowed Julian to be more mature and independent.”
What training/skills did Julian come to the position with?
“Julian cam with the enthusiasm it takes to work at Outdoor Recreation (ODR). ODR deals with customers on a daily basis. It is not always easy in customer service and so you need the right mindset every day, Monday through Saturday. Julian came in with the right attitude. Also being physically able to move equipment from area to area was a good skill that Julian cam on-board with. To work at ODR you have to lift at least 50lbs, he fit right in.”
What was the biggest challenge you faced in hiring someone with a disability?
“I think the biggest challenge for me personally was making sure that I never excluded Julian from a task. I can only speak for myself but I never wanted him to feel like he couldn’t do something. Even if it was obviously a difficult task, we wanted to pair him up with someone capable so that if he couldn’t do it alone, we would have someone to help him get the job done. Julian, just like any other employee, deserves a chance at learning, growing and developing a new skill.”
Julian’s success is a direct result of his desire and determination to find fulfilling employment. With the support of The Arc’s Employment Services Team ,our expertise at matching the right candidates with the right jobs, and our partners like Joint Base Andrews, Julian is excelling at his job and making an impact. As we prepare for our 2018 Project SEARCH year, we need more partners like YOU to help give students with disabilities the opportunity to learn, grow and develop their competitive employment skills. Join us throughout October as we celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month with information, events and opportunities for your organization to get involved.
Interested in learning more about Project SEARCH?
Contact Project SEARCH Business Liaison Eugenia Ebb at EEbb@thearcofpgc.org or 301-925-7050 x 242
Interested in Hiring our Workforce?
Complete the below form or contact Director of Workforce Development Ciara Hosein
CHosein@thearcofpgc.org or 240-532-6005 x 9
In the past, disabilities have been seen as limiting, however, according to the National Science Foundation’s 2017 report: Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science, and Engineering, about 1 in 9 scientists and engineers under the age of 75 has a disability.
With advances in training and assistive technology people with disabilities are pursuing and excelling in exciting science and technology careers.
According to the Economics & Statistics Administration, “Science, technology, engineering and mathematics workers drive our nation’s innovation and competitiveness by generating new ideas, new companies and new industries. However U.S. businesses frequently voice concerns over the supply and availability of STEM workers.”
The Arc Prince George’s County provides technology training ranging from Microsoft office suite to more in-depth computer and office programs based on candidate skills and employer needs. Our staff works with both our employment partners seeking to hire, and our candidates seeking jobs, to create training programs that provide and enhance competitive employment skills in all areas.
Our Transitioning Youth and Ready @ 21 Programs target young people with disabilities in an increasingly tech-based world. “Young people, with an without disabilities are using the computer and their smart phones every day,” says Outreach Program Administrator Melonee Clark. “They are engaged in social media, creating art, gaming, and all sorts of areas where they are more tech savvy than adults. We need more business partners to willing to hire these young people. They have the ability, they just need the opportunity.”
If you’re business is interested in hiring the right tech savvy candidate, contact our Employment Services team to learn more about our workforce and join us on Thursday October 11, 2018 for our 3rd Annual Inclusion Works Breakfast to meet some of our qualified candidates!
Contact the Employment Services Team by completing the below form or call 240-532-6005
From: The National Governor’s Association 2012-2013 Chair’s Initiative
Read the full report HERE
The U.S. labor force is experiencing a rapidly changing economy. The Arc Prince George’s County, along with our partners, supporters, donors and neighbors, is committed to ensuring people with disabilities have the opportunity to find meaningful employment. The National Governor’s Association (NGA) is the collective voice of the nation’s governors and one of Washington, D.C.’s, most respected public policy organizations. THE NGA CENTER FOR BEST PRACTICES (NGA Center) is the only research and development firm that directly serves the nation’s governors and their key policy staff. Governors rely on the NGA Center to provide tailored technical assistance for challenges facing their states, identify and share best practices from across the country, and host meetings of leading policymakers, program officials and scholars. Through research reports, policy analyses, cross-state learning labs, state grants, and other unique services, the NGA Center quickly informs governors what works, what does not, and what lessons can be learned from others grappling with similar issues.
During the 2012 – 2013 NGA Chair’s Initiative activities, The NGA learned from businesses and other experts that many reasons exist for making disability employment a workforce development strategy. Businesses and employers of all types are looking for skilled workers and are finding them among people with disabilities.
Despite the potential for people with disabilities to contribute to the workforce and advancements in technology that allow them to do so, many are not afforded an opportunity. The Arc Prince George’s seeks to help provide these opportunities with the help of business leaders in our community.
Interested in learning more about our Employment Services Programs?
Complete the below form or contact: Director of Workforce Development Ciara Hosein at
CHosein@thearcofpgc.org or 240-532-6005 x 9
Inclusion can enrich and enhance your workplace. Employers benefit from diverse leadership, innovation, increase in morale and the ability to cast a wider, more diverse recruiting net. Here are some strategies to help you get started:
Are you a CEO who is committed to a disability friendly workplace? Congratulations! You’ve already taken the first step! Do your corporate policies, procedures and practices specifically mention disabilities? These are key ways your business can begin to grow and benefit from inclusion. Our Employment Services Team is here to help guide your organization toward a more inclusive and diverse business culture.
Creating an inclusive workforce doesn’t have to be overwhelming. There are several steps your organization can start taking today. Are training materials available in alternate formats such as large print, Braille, and captioning? This is a great first step to creating an inclusive work environment. Including disability awareness training in new-hire orientation is another great way to introduce inclusion into your company culture.
Have you considered creating a central source and budget for accommodations? According to The Department of Labor and The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), the average cost of job accommodations is less than $500. The most frequently reported job accommodations are changes in job duties and modified hours of work. Accommodations most often have more to do with creativity and flexibility than building or workspace modifications.
The Arc Prince George’s County specializes in developing employment partnerships with business leaders throughout the region. Our goal is to not only get to know our candidates and their skills, desires and talents, but also our business partners. We are strategic partners in your business goals, matching the right candidates with the right jobs within your organization. Our 1:1 placements are at no cost to our employment partners, and our ongoing support is designed to ensure the success of the business and the candidate. Contact a member of our team today to learn more about how we can support YOUR specific business needs.
Our dedicated and committed workforce has the skills to meet your business needs both now and as your organization grows. We specialize in strategic employment partnerships that place individuals in supported jobs that utilize their skills and provide opportunities for growth. Our Job Coaches and Job Developers are on hand to learn the job along with our candidates and support them as job duties continue to grow. Training and ongoing support are key to our successful placements and ensuring the people we support have opportunities to grow in their careers.
Let’s talk more about where your business is and how diversity and inclusion can help it grow! Contact a member of our Employment Services team today, and join us on Thursday October 11, 2018 for our 3rd Annual Inclusion Works Breakfast where you can hear from employers who are already benefitting from our employment placements.
As we enter National Disability Employment Awareness Month this October, we’re thrilled to have a partner like The Safeway Foundation who not only supports our mission financially, but also in practice.
From Ciara Hosein, our Director of Workforce Development:
On Friday September 7, 2018 Monzel one of our graduating interns from Project SEARCH had his final interview with University of Maryland Capital Regional Health (Prince George’s County Hospital). His interview attire sparked a wave of excitement by our staff and the Hospital Recruiter, he was sharp as a whistle!
When it was time to go in for the interview I kindly asked “Do you want me to sit in with you” he said “No I got this!” And he sure did! His confidence was high and he had the look to match! If all goes well with the paper work and background requirements he should be able to start on September 26th for Orientation! Great job to both the Project SEARCH team and Employment Services for providing great ongoing job readiness support to him, he was stellar!
Now in effort to ensure all of our individuals can be Dressed for Success we want to share information about our Business Attire Suite. This is where we engage Community partners and Employers to donate gently used professional interview attire for our Individuals! Learn more about the Business Attire Suite Below and be sure to join us for our 2018 Inclusion Works Breakfast in celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month!
Renee Garraway became a member of The Arc Prince George’s Count in 2015. “I’m a member for life,” she told us during a recent interview. “I joined to share in the advocacy for children with disabilities.”
Ms. Garraway, who is a school-based administrator, is working on her Doctorate in Educational Leadership with a focus on Special Education. “I’m the parent of a child with special needs, and a special educator. The Arc provides the resources that not only my son needs, but all children with disabilities.”
It is in these resources that the Garraway family finds the biggest benefit of membership. “My drive is to work with educational leaders and policy makers. The Arc gives me an opportunity to connect with experts and advocates as we work together to in advocacy and informed voting.”
“I’m more knowledgeable about my son’s disability and what is available to him as he grows up. I will always see him as my baby, but he is going to grow into an adult and as his needs change, The Arc is there each step of the way.”
In addition to the resources and connections membership brings, Ms. Garraway find intangibles of membership equally as important. “Membership at The Arc gives parents a voice. We connect with the Executive Director and he listens to our input on the organization that is providing services to our loved ones. Arc staff are compassionate, committed, dedicated and supportive. You can’t find that on a website, you have to connect with the organization to find that and The Arc is there.”
“The Arc is an important organization to learn from, and contribute to,” says Ms. Garraway. “I encourage new members, or families and individuals who are not members to get connected. You don’t know what you don’t know, and that’s what makes an organization like The Arc so important to our community.”
We thank Ms. Garraway for giving of her time to share her story as we celebrate Membership Month. If you are not yet a member of The Arc, visit our membership page and sign up today! To stay connected with upcoming events, advocacy opportunities and more, sign up for our email Newsletter Today!
TjaMeika Davenport, a mother of three, parent advocate, and member of The Arc Prince George’s County, recently sat down with us to share her membership experience.
“I was attending a community meeting at The Arc [Administrative Office] and attendees were encouraged to become members of The Arc” says Ms. Davenport, whose daughter was an infant at the time. She connected with The Arc’s Membership & Outreach Coordinator Melonee Clark to learn about the benefits of membership.
What would you say has been the biggest membership benefit for you and your family?
“The importance of connecting with other families can’t be overstated; membership at The Arc gave us the opportunity to meet other families who are walking the same path. We’re traveling this journey together and our common ground is that we are caring for a loved one with a disability. Through membership we can connect with people we may never have met in our social circles, our civic groups, sororities, or churches. We not only encourage each other in difficulties, but we deepen our knowledge and ability to support our loved one.”
I’ve learned from other families about successes and challenges and it has helped me see the big picture for my child’s life. At workshops, there are often families at various life stages, supporting their teenager, or their spouse, or parent. The Arc cares for the whole person and we can stay connected with each other and build those lasting relationships for us as caregivers, as well as our loved ones.
Are there things you’ve learned through membership that have made an impact on your family?
“I’ve learned so many things, including pacing myself. This is a marathon, not a sprint. I’ve also learned from hearing and seeing other families I’ve connected with, that self-care is important, serious business. Our loved ones need us to be here.
In my early membership days The Arc facilitated a Parent Training that I attended. At the time I was an at-home mom, and when my daughter reached school age, I used what I’d learned in that workshop to make a career change. I was able to become a Parent Navigator at Children’s Hospital, thanks in part to the training I received through membership at The Arc.
I also learned that effective advocacy never ends, and that you don’t have to feel political to have a conversation with your representative about what your family needs. It is important to connect with our legislators, know their names, and make sure our voice is included.
Membership also provides us the opportunity to deepen our knowledge. The Arc is the first place I turn to for resources because there are so many free-to-members workshops and trainings on various topics throughout a person’s life span. I purposed early in my child’s life to get started early. Membership has introduced me to additional resources and I’ve been able to get on listservs and learn about transitioning to adult services, employment, etc. When it is time to re-engage as my daughter reaches those milestones in life we will have a base to start from.”
What advice would you give families who are just starting out?
“Well, first I would say Membership, Membership, Membership! It isn’t cost prohibitive for an individual or a family, and there are so many benefits. I continue to be a member because learning is life-long, no matter what age, gender, or ability, there is something to learn that can benefit your loved one. Not only are we learning as a family, but we are connected with people who genuinely care about us. There are people who ask about my child and how she is doing, they celebrate with her and we support each other. That’s invaluable.
Special thanks to the Davenport Family for their time and testimony. We are thrilled to be connected and supported by such wonderful families.
If you are interested in learning more about Membership at The Arc visit www.thearcofpgc.org/membership or contact Outreach & Membership Coordinator Melonee Clark at 301-925-7050