Each of us had our “first job”—that starting point in our career that taught us the basics. It may have been a part-time job during high school or a full-time summer job. It’s where we learned the soft skills that are essential: keeping schedules, attendance, respect, communication, problem solving and accepting constructive criticism. The hard skills were learned once we started our vocation; for example, basic data entry or physical tasks in labor jobs.
These hard and soft skills were needed to create a solid foundation for each of us to be successful in our careers. The same applies for people with disabilities. They need a step one or “first job” to gain access to the possibilities that lay within and ahead of each of them.
With over 9,000 people in our metropolitan area alone who have Individual Education Plans (IEPs) due to disabilities* and hundreds with disabilities who are unemployed, the time to train is now.
*Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2015/2016