Best Buddies Jobs: How our Program is Different
A staggering 85% of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) do not have paid employment in their communities. Best Buddies Jobs, a thriving part of programming in Illinois, is working to change that. Historically, the primary employment opportunity for people with a variety of disabilities has been work in sheltered workshops where pay is low and employees have little to no interaction with the greater community. Our Jobs program is working to change that by partnering with companies to hire skilled and highly qualified individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
With a focus on “non-traditional” employment opportunities for people with IDD, the Best Buddies Jobs program aims to place participants in fair wage, competitive jobs in settings such as law firms, financial institutions, hospitals, retailers and offices. To date, our Jobs program has 26 participants who are either employed or are working on finding employment.
Each participant works with an Employment Consultant who supports them through the full life cycle of employment. Together, they work on resume building, interview training, travel training, on-site job training and continued support throughout their employment.
How successful is the Jobs program? Our employed participants earn an average pay of nearly $11 per hour and our participants that have been employed for more than a year have seen an average increase of nearly ten (10) hours per week! Not only that, but we are seeing our participants being embraced by their co-workers and customers.
Just last month, Larissa, one of our Jobs participants, was asked to a Cubs game with three (3) of her co-workers from the Georgia Nut Company. Interested in learning more about the Jobs program or hiring someone with an intellectual or developmental disability? Contact Jobs Supervisor, Mia Pollock at email@example.com.