The EmployAbility Project, Inc. has been established as a 501c3 corporation to assist qualified persons with disabilities and other underserved populations prepare for employment in information technology and other fields in economic demand. Candidates will receive services that prepare them for employment: screening, education, mentoring, internship and placement for their particular skill area. Examples of the purpose of this organization include:
- Identify individuals who have aspirations to achieve financial independence through a career in Information Technology and related areas.
- Assessment of current education and skill level.
- Training and mentoring of candidates in pre-qualified areas of skill.
- Work with local businesses to create internship & employment opportunities.
The Project is the continuation of TechWorks, a partnership formed in August 1999 between the Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Madison Area Technical College, Goodwill Industries and Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). In addition to these partners, TechWorks formed a Business Advisory Council (BAC) consisting of volunteer information technology employers who developed the employment skills & training matrix.
In October 2002, TechWorks received a federal appropriations grant that enabled the partnership to provide hundreds of individual services to candidates with disabilities. The grant was used to purchase case management and educational services. The case manager worked with the candidates to help administer and facilitate the efforts of the BAC: such as job seeking skills, mentoring throughout the job seeking process and helping find internships & placements. Through this time members of the BAC volunteered for TechWorks by offering tours of their information technology departments, allowing participants to job shadow, serving as business mentors, providing internships or offering jobs to participants.
The Project has retained the relationships formed by TechWorks and, in addition has sought out other relationships that might enhance its ability to expand the network of professionals involved. We anticipate that as our services base changes to accommodate economic demands that our BAC will add health care and Spanish speaking clients to our board, advisory committee and mentor roster.
EmployAbility is a unique partnership between area employers, educational institutions and government that assists underserved populations enter the workforce. Services are provided to address each individual’s speciﬁc vocational needs, including:
- Career Assessment
- Career & Educational Advising
- Career Coaching
- Job Preparation
- Job Placement Opportunities
- Student Transition Services
- Veteran Transition Services
- Professional Networking
The EmployAbility Project Provides employment skills training, mentoring, and business networking for underserved populations and people with disabilities by helping to:
- Develop and refine technical business skills
- Identify business mentors
- Provide internships