Work Experience Program
Els for Autism Foundation offers a 16-week Work Experience Program (8-weeks in two different departments at the host site) to prepare adults seeking employment in the local municipality, healthcare, or hospitality industries. The Work Experience training program allows participants with developmental disabilities ages 18+ who have completed high school, to learn industry-specific work-skills and demonstrate their ability to add value to core business operations. Participants must have the goals to seek paid employment and to work independently at the completion of the community-based work experience program.
Els for Autism is a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) provider for Employment Services and all participants must be VR customers. Once participants complete the training program, Foundation staff work with community employers to secure paid employment positions. Those looking to pursue post-secondary education, with the use of funding from Vocational Rehabilitation, should complete their education before participating in the Work Experience Program.
Work Experience Program participants have the opportunity to attend Job Club, which meets once a week on The Els Center of Excellence campus. Led by Adult Services Program Coordinator, Job Club provides instruction on pre-employment skills such as applying for a job, interview skills, letters of recommendation, teamwork, first impressions, self-advocacy, getting along with co-workers, handling criticism, and customer service. When learning about applying for jobs, participants use the computer lab to create a portfolio that includes a resume, cover letter, and list of references.
Work Experience Program participants have the opportunity to attend the Bridge Program. For individuals needing additional skills before training in the community, Bridge provides a path for participants to matriculate into the off-campus Work Experience Program once specific criteria are met. Bridge Program participants must have the goals to seek paid employment and to work independently at the completion of the community-based work experience program. Please see the eligibility criteria above.
Emmalee completed the Work Experience Program at PGA National Resort & Spa and is now employed by Joey D Golf.