By Nicole Matheson
For more than six years, Milemarkers, local provider of therapy services to children and adults with disabilities, has worked to assist some of the young adult members in their program with employment opportunities in Mohave County.
RiverScene was able to talk with PR and Marketing Director Sarah Stinnett about the employment program and how it serves these members as well as the community.
Employment Program Services Offered
“Our employment program allows our young adults to gain training and job experience in a setting that is selected based on their interests and abilities,” Stinnett said.
To do this, Milemarkers established different categories in their work program: Center Based, Group Supported and Individual Supported Employments.
In the Center Based and Group Supported Employment groups, members are paid by Milemarkers for their work in accordance with state and federal law in either a sheltered workshop in the case of Center Based or an on-site supervised work environment in a community employment setting for Group Supported.
Work for Center Based Employment can include paper shredding, bulk mailing and clerical duties while Group Supported Employment services can extend to landscape maintenance, janitorial services, restaurant services or laundry services.
There is also an Individual Supported Employment group, which provides regular contacts at an individual job site with the employed member and the employer, intended to help develop the specific on-the-job skills necessary for successful employment. Another program available to members who have graduated or will soon be graduating from high school is TTE or Transition to Employment, which provides extra training on how to transition to a work setting with a curriculum-based program.
Providing Meaningful Work To A Marginalized Community
“Our employment service programs serve both our members and the businesses,” Stinnett says. “For our member, we are providing them an exposure to the world of work while focusing on their strengths, abilities, needs and preferences. For our businesses, this provides them quality work and a reliable workforce while affording them the opportunity to provide meaningful work to a largely marginalized community.”
The feedback from the members and businesses involved has been, “phenomenal,” Stinnett said. “Employers have stated they look forward to the days that our members come, and the members enhance their employee morale. Our members shine when they are working. They look forward to going to work and earning their own paycheck!”
Take it from The Anderson Auto Group, who proudly employs many Milemarkers clients according to Scott Taylor. “We utilize their employment assistance program in all five of our Mohave County Arizona stores. We have been blessed over the past few years with watching these very special individuals grow and flourish through their employment experiences with our Auto Group. They are hard working, conscientious and caring people who really want to do a great job for us – and they do!”
Taylor also notes that when businesses sign on to the program, Milemarkers does all the paperwork. “They even bring them to work and take them home under the careful supervision of their job coaches, who are also paid by Milemarkers. As an employer, you simply sign the employment contract and Milemarkers goes to work for you.”
With so many benefits, it’s difficult to deny the effectiveness and success of the Milemarkers employment program. “Our program is a dependable service that truly has no downside,” Stinnett adds. If you are a business is interested in partnering with Milemarkers to create a positive impact on their members’ lives, please call or email Sarah Stinnett at 928-854-5439 and firstname.lastname@example.org