Community Involvement Programs will be able to continue its employment supports for young adults with a suspected or diagnosed Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in 2015. The Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) provided an additional year of funding for Community Involvement Programs to provide supports for the “Increasing Access to Employment” grant. In 2014, Community Involvement Programs was granted $30,000 to support 5 individuals in the Twin Cities metro area who may be diagnosed with FASD or who are suspected to have FASD, but are ineligible for traditional funding to purchase the services and supports needed to find and maintain a job.
In their 2015 proposal, Community Involvement Programs has increased the number of young people to whom they will provide employment and on-going supports from five to seven. Community Involvement Programs has been fortunate enough to be granted an additional $32,000 from MOFAS for these supports. Unfortunately, two individuals who were involved in the program in 2014 have dropped out, so Community Involvement Programs is currently seeking four additional participants. However, the other three people we are currently supporting are doing well. Two are currently employed and our newest participant, Dieter, is well into his job-seeking process and is ready to get to work. Dieter is currently in college full time pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and is looking to discover a career where he can use his hands and be around people.
Another one of the participants, Juan, has had quite the employment journey as well. Juan is currently a student at Transition Plus in Minneapolis and got his first job ever in October of 2014, at Target pushing carts. Juan did so well with the carts, that his manager asked if he would be interested in learning to work as a cashier. Juan was excited for the advancement opportunity and began his training. While training, Juan had difficulty with the pace of the training and began to get frustrated. He called his Employment Consultant to express his concerns, and they spoke with the manager about different techniques to teach Juan the position. Unfortunately, Juan lost his patience and walked off the job, an all too common result with someone with an FASD.
Fortunately for Juan, he learned a great deal from working at Target. He reported to his Employment Consultant that he is not interested in working as a cashier, as it was frustrating for him and difficult to learn. Juan also said that he would like a job where he can work alone and not handle money. it just so happened that Community Involvement Programs had an opening for a part time janitorial position at our administrative office, and his Employment Consultant and Juan both believed that he would be a good fit in our organization. Juan interviewed and accepted this position. He currently takes the city bus and works 5 days a week while reporting that he is very happy with his position.
Community Involvement Programs is looking forward to another year of providing individualized employment supports to adults with an FASD in 2015!
This program is made possible by funding from the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.