Fox 5 in Las Vegas details a program that provides on the job training for people often overlooked by employers. The original article is titled: Available for hire, adults with disabilities ready to work in Las Vegas. It can be found at this link. Please read below for the highlights.
Sport-Social is a space for children, teens and adults with a range of disabilities. The center offers programs that help with social skills.
Founder and owner, Andrew Devitt, said it gives them an opportunity to focus on themselves.
“For many kids and young adults they’re living a more difficult life and so Sport-Social is a piece in their life that’s helping them find happiness and friendship,” Devitt said.
Within the last year, Sport-Social reopened its new location near Rainbow Road and Warm Springs. Part of the reopening was introducing their vocational training at Ramp'd Up Cafe located inside their facility.
“This one is unique where it’s run by our vocational program where students are learning in the classroom, things like how to build a resume, how to interview, social skills in the workplace. More importantly they then get hands on work experience in the café working shifts at the cash register, making coffees and lattes. And more than that, they’re doing it with the supervision of our instructors. Our instructors are what are called registered behavior technicians, and so they’re trained in how to teach, how to change behaviors and so they’re focused on the students learning you know in real life application," Devitt said.
The program is nine months and so far they've already had a few successful graduates land jobs at coffee shops.
As a business owner Devitt knows all too well the struggle to find employees. Currently, Devitt is looking to fill several positions of people who can work with children and adults with disabilities.
“We’re struggling to find people to help us work like we’re struggling to find employee, and meanwhile there’s this reality that young adults with autism and special needs want jobs and they’re struggling to land a job," Devitt said.
He said most of the time it's personality deficits that people in the community are not used to seeing, but that shouldn't deter them from hiring.
“I think that it’s important for local businesses to understand a job to them would mean so much. Hiring these young adults considering someone with a little bit of a different skillset is important and they’re going to get a more dedicated employee by doing that. and taking that chance on them would make a big difference. We’re just asking sometimes for a little bit of extra accommodations or consideration. It might just be a couple small tweaks that need to be made so they can be successful," Devitt said.