Unicorn Children’s Foundation Offers Virtual Job Club for Teens and Young Adults with Special Needs April 3, 2020
The Unicorn Children’s Foundation has announced a “virtual” Unicorn Connection – Job Club to help individuals with special needs find a career path that will lead to a successful, happy, and self-sufficient future. While this project was intended to be an in-person course conducted at the new Unicorn Connection Center, the current rules of social distancing during these unprecedented times have required the foundation to innovate and pivot to remote training opportunities for a population who typically suffers from social isolation.
National statistics reveal that 68% of persons with an intellectual or developmental disability are unemployed or underemployed despite their ability and willingness to work. These statistics are likely to increase during the current state of affairs. The Unicorn Connection – Job Club will benefit both students with special needs and employers in the community. The first session will run from April 19th through June 28th from 4-5pm through Zoom meetings and is open to individuals with disabilities between the ages of 16-29.
Sharon Alexander, CEO of the Unicorn Children’s Foundation, shared “Now, is the time to take advantage of the technology we have available to us and equip individuals who have intellectual or developmental disabilities with the skills necessary to improve employability. If they are better prepared to pursue employment opportunities now, we hope that they will be successful in finding competitive and gainful employment in careers where they find purpose and meaning when social distancing recommendations are relaxed and many will be in competition for new job openings.”
A diversity employment counselor will facilitate a Job Club through two 9-week sessions. The Job Club will provide teens and young adults with disabilities a support group to develop employment success strategies. Meetings will provide opportunities for discussion on current employment situations and problem solving. Meetings will include specific topic discussions and skill development on topics such as: identification of career preference; identifying connections and networking; resume refinement; interview skills; self-advocacy, developing friendships/social skills at work; and maintaining employment.