The Arc of York County

Project Name: Transitional Supported Employment from School to Work

Contact Information:
Josh Leik
(717) 846-6589
497 Hill Street
York, PA 17403

Project Goals

  • An increase in the number of individuals who receive onsite work experience during the school year;
  • An increase in the number of individuals who gain part-time and/or summer employment each year prior to graduation from public schools; and
  • An increase in the number of individuals who secure employment within 6 months after graduation from public school.

Project Description

While employment is a most valuable social role in our society, many young people with disabilities remain unemployed. Dr. Bruce Davis, PhD. of the School to Adult Transition Program at Vanderbilt University notes that “One of the crucial needs for every adolescent with a disability is the belief that they can have a meaningful life. Early adulthood is the precise time of life when many people begin to lose hope that many of their dreams will ever be fulfilled.”

The Arc of York County’s project is focused on preparing high school students for competitive employment following graduation from public school. Most students with disabilities have very limited or no real life experience with real work prior to graduation. Neither students nor their families are well prepared for the issues of entering the work force. This experience differs from students who do not have a disability who typically will have a part-time job while in school and employment in the summer prior to graduation. The project better prepares students for post-graduation employment by providing real employment experiences during the school year, part-time employment, and summer employment.

Paid employment and work experience is the primary objective of the project. The project aims to provide real work experience during the school year as part of the student’s educational program, part-time employment, and summer employment using our supported employment support and training staff. The current school system and community service system for people with intellectual disabilities do not fund/support summer employment or out-of-school service for students. The project provides support for students to gain and maintain employment.