Community businesses work to connect the classroom to career paths for students with disabilities.
Concord, NH – Businesses and organizations throughout New Hampshire are stepping up to provide structured work-based learning opportunities for local at-risk high school students with disabilities. These experiences are designed to facilitate career exploration, support skill development and align students with career goals for life after high school. The work-based learning opportunities serve as on-ramps to career pathways for students as they transition out of high school.
Since September 2016, over 150 businesses have provided work-based learning experiences to over 500 at risk students in their community through the Granite State Independent Living (GSIL) IMPACCT program. In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we want to thank these socially engaged businesses, helping students test-drive careers across trades and industries, including manufacturing, health care, hospitality, construction and information technology.
One of this year’s successful IMPACCT gradates was Kiyah. She is a bright, hard-working young lady who struggled in school mainly because of her physical and emotional challenges. Kiyah was considering dropping out of school when she turned 18.
Kiyah came into the IMPACCT Academy with the goal to get back on track with credits and prepare herself for the path to fulfill her professional dream of becoming a neonatal nurse. She proved from the first day that she was committed to succeeding, and she never gave less than 100% to anything she did. Kiyah’s work supervisors at The Morrison Nursing Home spoke highly of her, commending her for her work ethic, open-mindedness, and pleasant demeanor. They all agree that Kiyah will make an excellent nurse one day. Kiyah completed the Academy in excellent standing.
Kiyah plans to apply to college and nursing school next year. With the support of her family, the school counselors, the WMRHS FUTURES Director, and the IMPACCT staff, Kiyah is well on her way to realizing her dream of becoming a nurse.
While students’ contract through coordinated internships and mentor-ship programs, businesses are seeing mutual value. Employers can familiarize themselves with the next generation of applicants, help build a skilled workforce and offer leadership development opportunities for new intern supervisors. Participating businesses are proud to support diversity and inclusion in New Hampshire’s growing workforce.
Work-based learning (WBL) is a key educational strategy that Granite State Independent Living (GSIL) has embraced in partnership with businesses throughout NH. This experiential approach helps high school students reengage with their education and helps them gain a fuller understanding of employer expectations and reinforces their soft skill learnings. This strategy is also in partnership with and promoted by New Hampshire’s Department of Education and Vocational Rehabilitation to support student and economic growth throughout the state. These programs supplement academic education with work-readiness training and career exploration.
GSIL would like to thank the following local business and organizations that are supporting the Fall 2019 IMPACCT Academy & Earn and Learn programs:
Nashua Region Fall 2019 IMPACCT Businesses: Showtime Computers, Nashua Soup Kitchen, CVS- 2 locations, Lisa’s Tippy Toes, Gate City Collision, Gurneys- Nashua and Milford, Lou’s Custom Exhaust-Milford, Five Guys, Humane Society Nashua, Puppies on the Run, and Bite Me Kupcakez.
Manchester Region Fall 2019 IMPACCT & Earn and Learn Businesses: CVS, Five Guys, The Growing Years, Advanced Auto Parts, HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, CTAC, Kerner’s Car Care, NH Food Bank, The Caregivers, Doubletree by Hilton Manchester Downtown, City of Manchester Parks and Recreation, and Hanover Hill Healthcare.
Concord Region Fall 2019 IMPACCT Businesses: Capital Area Veterinary Emergency and Specialty (CAVES), Capital Kitchen and Bath, Cole Garden, CVS, Five Guys, Follet Bookstore, Goodlife NH, Granite State Independent Living, Marshalls, Merrimack Valley Day Care, TJ Maxx, and YMCA.
North Country Region Fall 2019 IMPACCT Businesses: Arrow Express Auto, Shinning Lights Learning Center, Northern Charms Salon, Littleton Parks & Rec, Senior Center, Littleton Fire & Rescue, Littleton Studio School, Littleton Studio School, Head Start, Inkwell, and Littleton Special Education.
IMPACCT AcademyTM advances the state’s goal of ensuring that 65% of adults receive some form of post-secondary education by 2025, thereby supporting a skilled workforce and stronger economy for New Hampshire.
Businesses large and small are encouraged to join the movement by offering their own work-based learning opportunities. Interested businesses can host an internship, join an advisory group, hold mock interviews, offer company tours and/or present on a facet of the workforce. To learn more, visit www.GSIL.org/IMPACCT or contact Granite State Independent Living at (603) 228-9680.
The IMPACCT program is funded by and in full partnership with the New Hampshire Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (NHVR) in response to the recent Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). IMPACCT is offered through Granite State Independent Living (GSIL). IMPACCT was created to help augment and support the transitional services that schools are already providing their students with disabilities.