The Arc’s collective goal is to provide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) support and services that help them live the most autonomous life possible. Through our Employment Support program, we seek to integrate those with IDD into the workforce and help individuals achieve their personal goals and dreams. By providing guidance for competitive employment, individuals can achieve their maximum vocational potential, thus enabling them to become more independent and valued members of their community. Through personalized training and workshops, individuals are equipped with the skills to help them become viable candidates for employment. Our support professionals also focus on job retention and encouraging individuals to advocate for themselves. By earning an income, individuals with IDD, just like their peers, are able to support their families, provide for themselves, and save for their future.
Pre-Vocational Training: Module Participants in this program follow a two-year training path toward successful job placement. They acquire skills to prepare them for a professional environment and interpersonal relationships in the workplace. Training includes money management, safety awareness, and developing proper workplace behaviors. A key focus of Pre-Vocational Training is civic engagement and volunteerism. Individuals have volunteered with Meals on Wheels, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Vulcan Park and Museum, National Senior Games, Salvation Army, and more.
Small Groups: Small groups offer opportunities within The Arc for community-facing roles. Through RecyclABILITY, individuals assist in secure document shredding for clients across the metro area. At our Village East location, individuals distribute food and supplies from the United Way Food Bank to all 88 of our residential homes. Other opportunities include maintenance/janitorial operations, bakery assistants, administrative aides, and filing clerks.
Supported Employment: Employment Support staff develops productive partnerships with local businesses and companies. Through these relationships, individuals are connected with opportunities that are the best fit for their skills and abilities. In this unit, individuals are trained in completing job applications, proper attire/grooming, and interview skills. Job coaching and shadowing opportunities are also made available. Strategic partnerships within the community ensure long-term job retention and employee/employer satisfaction.