The Light House Announces New Employment Program
Updated: Aug 4, 2021
Emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Light House is pleased to announce the launch of LH Works: an immersive employment training program for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (ID/DD). The goal? 100% competitive employment. The current employment rate for individuals with ID/DD is between 4.8% and 11% (Colasurdo, 2019). In an effort to improve this statistic, LH Works uses a customized, holistic approach to prepare Job Seekers to excel in securing competitive, year-round employment at the same wage as their peers. Throughout the LH Works program, Job Seekers work with a personal Employment Specialist to develop foundational skills in a controlled environment at our training facility located in Stonington, CT. Once Job Seekers have developed necessary foundational skills (organizational, soft skills, and work endurance), they transfer these skills to community-based job sites with our partner organizations.
With three vocational tracks, LH Works provides a unique opportunity to train in small business operations such as microgreen production, Airbnb management, and culinary operations. Following mentorship in a multitude of career pathways, Job Seekers are able to match their skills and interests with employment opportunities in our community.
The Farm-to-Table Track provides Job Seekers with the opportunity to gain experience in all aspects of the food service industry. Through instruction from our partners at Coogan Farm, Job Seekers work in our greenhouse to plant, nurture, and harvest microgreens. With guidance from local chefs, these microgreens are then used in our commercial-grade kitchen to teach the basics of food safety, food preparation, and culinary operations. Upon advancement in the program, Job Seekers then transfer obtained skills to local restaurants.
The Culture and Tourism Track allows for Job Seekers to gain experience in arts and entertainment, hospitality, and customer service. With two Airbnb properties at our training facility, Job Seekers develop skills in hospitality operations, a prominent industry in our local economy. Upon advancement in the program, they apply learned skills to real-life scenarios at our community partner, the Whaler's Inn. At the Garde Arts Center in New London, Job Seekers learn the elements of theater operations including ticket sales, customer service, and general theater maintenance.
As part of our Trades Track, our 32-acre training facility provides Job Seekers with opportunities to learn the functions of property management. Through our partnership with the Property Doctors in Uncasville, CT Job Seekers apply their knowledge to real-life scenarios including landscaping, repairs, and office operations.
“Our vision for the LH Works program is for Job Seekers to develop a career path through on-the-job training and mentoring in order to gain the skills needed to attain competitive employment at the same wage as their coworkers." - Kassidy Brown, Executive Director
Over the course of the program, progress is tracked by each Job Seeker’s Employment Specialist who provide job training and mentorship towards achieving social, personal, and independent living goals. Daily workshops and one-on-one meetings give Job Seekers the opportunity to determine their specific goals and develop a strategy to meet them. Employment Specialists use task analysis, observation and interest assessments, daily check-ins, and employer feedback to assess the Job Seekers interest and readiness to advance in the program.
Our connections with over twenty-five local businesses allows us to offer a range of experiences in a variety of industries and job functions. Exposure to an array of employment options ensures that Job Seekers secure employment that meets their individual skills and interests, to better serve our community. Industry advisors, community partners, and specialists allow for tailored instruction to meet the true needs of our community’s employers.
“I like LH Works because I can get help to do things. My Employment Specialist isn’t watching me do my work, he is teaching me and motivating me to do it.”
-Alfonso, Job Seeker
For more information about LH Works or to set up a time to tour our training facility, contact Will Robinson, Director of Adult Transition Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-445-7626 ext. 118.