This non-profit organization helps create a “truly inclusive employment environment”

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issued 13 hours ago

Submitted by us bank

RAMP employee Deanna Robbins teaches a Teens in Transition class in Winnebago County, Illinois.

Originally published on US Bank’s company blog

An Illinois high school student we’ll call Michelle struggles with anxiety and depression to the point where it’s hard to imagine her future.

Michelle is Regional access fluidization project (RAMP) is a nonprofit organization serving four counties in northwestern Illinois, including DeKalb and Winnebago. The program is designed to help teens and young adults with disabilities prepare for careers and post-secondary education, including mock job interviews with local employers. When the day for Michelle’s interview arrived, she initially said she couldn’t do it, but after we talked about how she could handle it, she eventually relented.

“She came away from the interview clearly happy and proud of herself,” said Alice Nichols, RAMP’s curriculum and training manager. “She said she can now imagine herself working at her child care facility in the future.”

People with disabilities like Michelle have even more difficulty finding work.The unemployment rate for people with disabilities is Last year it was 7.6%, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Statistics, which is about twice the percentage of people who don’t. RAMP is trying to change that. The organization is a non-residential center for independent living with a mission to build inclusive communities that encourage people with disabilities to reach their full potential. The company offers a wide range of services to people of all ages, including her 14-week Teens in Transition program, which includes financial education in addition to work readiness.

“People with disabilities are the largest minority group in the United States and the only group that can participate at any time. There is no guarantee that you, or your spouse, partner, or child, will not participate tomorrow. The more inclusive we can be, the better it is for everyone.”

– Alice Nichols, RAMP Curriculum and Training Manager

“We often hear that all students need this type of training, and they do. However, students with disabilities are much less likely to be employed, It’s one of the biggest barriers to life,” said Alice Nichols, Curriculum and Training Manager at RAMP. “Having these skills is critical to their success.”

U.S. Bank has supported RAMP financially and through volunteer efforts for more than 30 years, and the U.S. Bank Foundation currently provides grants to several youth job training programs, including those for teens in transition. Nationally, the Bank awarded approximately $238,000 in foundation grants and corporate donations last year to nonprofit organizations like RAMP across the country that provide assistance to people with disabilities. Particular emphasis is placed on the following: Workforce education and economic prosperity.

RAMP helps people with all types of disabilities, including physical, cognitive, and mental health.Nearly 1 in 4 Americans lives with a disabilityaccording to the Centers for Disease Control.

People with disabilities are “the largest minority group in America and the only group that can be included at any time. There’s no guarantee that you, your spouse, your partner, your child won’t be there tomorrow,” Nichols said. “The more inclusive we can make the employment environment, the better it is for everyone.”

As such, RAMP’s work includes both skill building for people with disabilities and providing training sessions on accessibility, inclusion and diversity to employers and the wider community. Employers can be a little apprehensive about offering internships for people with disabilities, but at the end of the program they rave about the students’ performance and are disappointed to see them move on to other opportunities. said Amy Morris. , Chief Operating Officer and Director of Development at RAMP.

“Everyone has different skills, and people with disabilities often have skills that can fill important gaps for employers,” Morris said. “Until we create a truly inclusive employment environment, we can’t get the most out of it.”

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