Scioto Properties takes pride in empowering individuals with disabilities with the ability to live in community-based housing. We understand that becoming a functioning part of the community is a key to gaining self-confidence. Having a job is also a key in building confidence and establishing independence. One organization in Salt Lake City, Utah helps prepare people with disabilities to work in their communities through their supported employment program.
Columbus Serves was originally founded in 1968 by a group of parents looking for a community-based program for their children with disabilities. It is now a locally and nationally recognized non-profit agency that works to support individuals with disabilities so they can make informed decisions and live with independence in their community.
Individuals with disabilities face a 65 percent unemployment rate, and that doesn’t matter if there’s a good economy or a bad economy.
According to their website, “the Columbus Serves Supported Employment program assists people with disabilities to become and remain successful and employed in their local community. Employment specialists design and implement an individual program plan that helps match the right person with the right employer in the community.”
The organization recently announced a partnership with the Salt Lake City Police Department and Columbus Serves has helped two individuals with disabilities find jobs with the department. Their jobs consist of performing various clerical duties in the investigative bureau. According to the foundations director, Stephanie Mackey, in an article published in the Desert News, “Individuals with disabilities face a 65 percent unemployment rate, and that doesn’t matter if there’s a good economy or a bad economy. They’re just folks who have incredible obstacles to overcome in the community to find work. So our supportive employment program stays focused on building partnerships with the community to see if we can identify jobs, prepare people, and get them placed in jobs and help them overcome those obstacles.”
The center works with individuals to prepare them for the working world. They offer services including full-time job coaching to education on using mass transit. The employees are not the only ones who benefit from the program. According to the city’s Chief Chris Burbank, the center has provided a new source for finding hardworking employees.