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Tour highlights growth of specialized Pennsylvania jobs

Posted on March 4, 2018

An ongoing tour is highlighting the growth of a talented market for Pennsylvania jobs.

Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Executive Director for the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) David DeNotaris is continuing the Wolf Administration’s ‘Jobs that Pay’ tour at Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Langhorne.

DeNotaris highlighted work-based learning experience (WBLE) opportunities which helps students with disabilities get new skills and job experience to enter the workforce.

High school students with disabilities who have paid, work-based summer, weekend or evening learning experiences are two times more likely to be competitively employed than those students who don’t receive such experiences. When students have paid work experiences, they learn to problem-solve, travel-independently, utilize technology and develop social-skills necessary to interact with members of their community.
“The Wolf Administration proudly supports initiatives to help students with disabilities gain paid, real-life work experience and learn the skills necessary to succeed in the workforce,” said DeNotaris.  “Pennsylvania can be proud that we lead the nation in the number of people with disabilities entering the workforce, and programs like this, preparing students for employment, are a big reason why.”
The Wolf Administration announced $1.35 Million in Innovation and Expansion Project contracts in January 2017, awarding $150,000 to Family Service Association of Bucks County. This project serves OVR-eligible or potentially eligible high school students by providing WBLEs, including in-school, after-school, and summer opportunities or experiences, outside the traditional school setting in a competitive, integrated employment site in the community.
Founded in 1953, Family Service Association of Bucks County offers a variety of programs and services focused on increasing opportunities for adults, protecting seniors, reducing substance abuse, improving the lives of those with mental illness, and preparing children and adolescents for the future. Their WBLE program, for young adults ages 16+, provides students with a paid work experience of up to 90 hours to gain knowledge and develop the skills needed to obtain competitive employment in the community.
“We are honored to partner with OVR and employers in our community to offer work-based learning experiences to local students with disabilities,” shared Audrey J. Tucker, Chief Executive Officer of Family Service. “We have seen firsthand the increase in confidence and workplace knowledge that participants gain as a result of these experiences, and we are proud to help participants gain competitive employment and contribute to their community.”
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