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New Job Option for Students with Developmental Disabilities

(May 9, 2019) -- The St. Joseph School District has announced a new, multi-agency partnership designed to prepare students for the work force.

All Students Achieve (ASA) is a collaboration between the district and four St. Joseph organizations that provides intensive training and development to high school seniors with developmental disabilities.

"At the SJSD, our support does not stop at high school graduation, it extends beyond to students meeting their post-secondary goals,” said SJSD Dr. Michele Thomason, Director of Special Programs. “This partnership offers a unique, real-world opportunity for our students with developmental disabilities to meet those goals and be competitively employed after high school."

This opportunity is available to St. Joseph School District students, entering their senior year, who have a diagnosed developmental disability and would benefit from on-site work skills training.

Program partners include the SJSD, Progressive Community Services, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), Vocational Rehabilitation and Mosaic Life Care.

“We are honored to work with the St. Joseph School District and other community partners with All Students Achieve,” said Janelle Lee, Vice-President-Talent Agency, Mosaic Life Care. “This is an important and wonderful initiative we are proud to support that will provide a great learning opportunity for the students who enter this program.”

ASA is scheduled to begin during the 2019-20 school year. Students who qualify will be placed in a variety of roles at Mosaic Life Care throughout the year.

“Students will have opportunities to work in various parts of the Mosaic organization such as environmental services, housekeeping, dietary, grounds, distributions, and guest services. These students will learn real-life experience that will help them as they learn and prepare for the job market,” said Lee.

ASA is funded in large part by Progressive Community Services (PCS), the local County Senate Bill (SB) 40 Board that administers the mill tax levy for persons with developmental disabilities. PCS has budgeted approximately $140,000 per school year on ASA. Other state and federal funding sources will be accessed as warranted.