Summer work exploration program helps students find and grow talents in Franklin County
For the fourth consecutive year, Hattie Larlham’s Transition to Work program has helped students with disabilities explore opportunities in the local workforce. The hands-on work experiences offered through this program make a significant impact in the lives of the young adults who participate.
Transition to Work (TTW) is a contract program coordinated through the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities (FCBDD). As summer career discovery program, TTW is an expansion of an existing year-round service called Discovery, which pairs trained professionals 1:1 with students and adults to help them identify jobs they enjoy doing. TTW takes that idea and goes even further by bringing students in for eleven days of hands-on work experience at a wide variety of local businesses.
In two sessions of 11 work days each, students are given the opportunity to do trial work experiences at local businesses. The participants are supervised by Hattie Larlham job coaches, who follow along on each student’s journey and formulate an official “Discovery Profile” for each student at the end of their TTW experience. This profile will help inform their next steps in the career seeking process- whether that’s coming back for another year of TTW, moving on to the Summer Youth Work Experience program, or diving right into seeking part-time employment in the community. Each participant’s strengths, goals, and preferences are as unique as they are and Hattie Larlham is proud to play a role in providing tailored support along their journeys to success.
For the 2021 session, Hattie Larlham’s TTW program partnered with 25 area businesses to provide work experiences for the 45 participating students. Broken out into pairs and small groups, each pod of students- accompanied by a Hattie Larlham job coach, spent one to two days at each worksite, learning new skills and getting hands-on training. One of the many unique attributes of the TTW program is that it exposes each student to a wide variety of opportunities, which allows them to develop a better understanding of the options that are available to them when they enter the workforce. Through participating in TTW, a student may discover that they have a low-tolerance for a noisy or busy work environment but thrive in detail-oriented spaces that allow them to work at a slower pace. Armed with the knowledge of how and where they perform best, students with disabilities are prepared to make the next steps in their unique journeys toward employment.
Hattie Larlham’s Transition to Work program is managed by Liz Jones, Director of Day Programming in Central Ohio. Additional supervisory support is provided by Laura Gregory, Addventures Quality Manager and day-to-day program operations are managed by Dave Cosart, Employment Services Manager.
Pictured L to R: Laura Gregory (Hattie LArlham), Brooke Kinsey, Owner Bleu & Fig, Elizabeth Jones (Hattie Larlham.)
If you would like more information, or to get your Columbus-area business involved as a partner, connect with us!
Special thanks to the following Columbus-area businesses for their partnership with Hattie Larlham’s 2021 TTW program:
Advance Auto Parts
Barks and Rec
Bishops Hair Salon
Bleu & Fig/Jubilee Café
Franklin Park Conservatory
Hilliard Recreation and Parks
Inprem Resource Center
Linden Community Center
NNEMAP Food Pantry
Northwest Swim Club
Old Bag of Nails Tavern
Rusty Bucket Tavern
Stockhands Horses for Healing
The Dog Stop