The Whole Person Catering is staffed by job seekers in our EmployAbilities Program
EmployAbilities is a three-stage, eight-week comprehensive employment training program created by The Whole Person. The program’s goal is to provide young job seekers (minimum age 18) living with a developmental disability an opportunity to refine their working and job-seeking skill sets. While EmployAbilities will focus on training in the TWP Catering Kitchen, students will acquire skills that will serve them in any employment environment where they have an interest in working.
The program will consist of three required stages, with an optional fourth stage:
“Working with your disability” is a two-week classroom introduction to all things employment. The focus will be on evaluating each student’s goals and challenges and constructing a custom-designed portfolio binder designed to maximize the individual’s opportunities, options, skills and abilities. Portfolios will showcase what each student has learned and accomplished over the eight-week course and what tasks they are capable of performing.
“In The Kitchen” is a practical, hands-on apprenticeship that will teach each student what it means to have a job. While students will work in a kitchen environment, students will learn best practices in a number of employment disciplines including workplace attitude and motivation, working with others and working for a boss. Students will gain valuable kitchen skills and receive a food handler’s card at the end of this stage. The job skills they learn in stage two will benefit the student in a wide range of work environments.
“Putting The Pieces Together” In this final stage, students will merge the classroom instruction and apprenticeship. Students will begin to prepare for the really big step, the job search:
- One week of job search training with the TWP Employment Team.
- Completion of the food handler’s permit.
- Completion of the professional portfolio.
- Mock interviews.
- Meetings with actual employers.
- Graduation ceremony.
Students will have the opportunity to meet weekly with a professional Employment Specialist for assistance with interviewing, job leads and job coaching supports. Students and parents will be introduced to various options for job searching, including State Vocational Rehabilitation as well as private pay options.