The Steuben County Community Foundation has awarded another $20,000 grant to Easterseals RISE to support its Pre-Manufacturing Academy. The academy is a 10-week program to help developmentally disabled individuals prepare for employment with local manufacturers.
The program is in partnership with the Steuben County Economic Development Corp.
The foundation previously awarded Easterseals RISE an initial $20,000 grant to launch the program last year. The new round of funding will help the academy to grow this year.
“SCCF has been impressed by the collaboration between Easterseals RISE and Steuben County EDC to offer this program to our community,” said Jennifer Danic, SCCF president and chief executive officer. ”SCCF sees the Pre-Manufacturing Academy as a great example of an innovative program that can make a big impact in Steuben County.”
Easterseals RISE assesses students and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to determine their interests and skills. Following the assessment, interested students then have the opportunity to transition to the manufacturing academy.
Last year 12 students completed the academy, then continued into additional training at the EDC’s Manufacturing Academy. Easterseals RISE says all 12 are now working at a local business.
“With our first group of Pre-Manufacturing Academy students, we saw incredible changes in their self-confidence and their desire to work in the community,” said Crystal Church-Stavitzke, Easterseals RISE executive director. “We’re very grateful to the Steuben County Community Foundation for sharing our excitement and providing a second-year grant to help the program grow.”
This year the goal is to train 18 students through the program.