Industry: Community Rehabilitation Program
SKILS’KIN, operating in Spokane since 1970, assists individuals with disabilities in employment training. SKILS’KIN follows an employment pathway from volunteerism, to group-supported employment to individual-supported employment. SKILS’KIN partners with businesses to prescreen and advocate for their clients. Many times, people with disabilities may have gaps in their employment and will be screened out. SKILS’KIN is there to make sure, if their clients are qualified for a position, they have an opportunity to interview with a potential employer.
Each client lists the top 10 companies they want to work for and why they want to work there. SKILS’KIN then reaches out to the different companies to see which ones would be a good fit for their clients. For example, one client was certified as a medical technician that draws blood but was having difficulty finding employment in her chosen career field. She had an interview at Octapharma Plasma in Spokane but did not do well on the interview and was not hired. A SKILS’KIN staff member spoke to the hiring manager and he agreed to give her a second interview. The staff member worked with the client on interview techniques and scheduled a mock interview at SKILS’KIN for her. She was hired at Octapharma and is now working in her chosen career field.
SKILS’KIN has also partnered with Sacred Heart Medical Center and School District 81 in Spokane to identity work opportunities at the hospital for people with disabilities. Through a national program, they have created a number of positions for the individuals and have budgeted for two new positions. The jobs are both part-time and full-time and the duties range from inventory and cleaning to recycling and warehouse work. It provides great training for the students and helps them prepare for a work environment.
The most important day for a client is pay day! Earning money provides equal footing for a person with a disability and allows them to be included in a work environment. It also provides them with independence and a strong sense of self worth.