On December 18 a small but enthusiastic group met at the UW-Platteville Student Center to discuss the state of youth employment in the local community and how different organizations and individuals can build on the strengths and address the challenges.
Participants heard from Lauren, Promise youth and Project SEARCH intern, about how her involvement in Promise has helped her to grow more confident and to recognize the job that matches her skills and interests. She has found her niche in IT support at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and is proud of the work she does there.
The community conversation gave the Platteville special education and Project SEARCH staff an opportunity to brainstorm ideas for more collaboration with DVR. Currently the Platteville School District does not have a transition program; therefore, there are not many opportunities available to teachers and counselors to work together. The new Special Education Director, Max Long, expressed much interest in exploring collaboration with other districts, UW-Platteville, and Southwest Tech.
The local Optimist club sent Becky Schambow to represent its members, and Connor Brown from an assisted living center in Platteville shared how she struggles to find long-term, loyal employees in a college town and is open to ideas for how to recruit and train youth with disabilities to work at her business.