Abilities First Establishes Workforce Readiness Program for Students with Developmental Disabilities Through Major Gift from the KeyBank Foundation

Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (December 10, 2015) – Abilities First has announced the development of a Workforce Readiness Program for its students with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Many students, ages 14 – 21, will have the opportunity to learn basic job skills due to a three-year major gift from the KeyBank Foundation as part of the Abilities First School – Future Steps Education Campaign.

The KeyBank Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization founded in 1969 and funded by KeyCorp., mission is provide students with opportunities to prepare for fulfilling careers through access to high quality education and support for their academic success as well as equip adults with the necessary skills, education and capabilities to meet current and future local employment demands.

Funding for the Workforce Readiness Program will enable increased support of educational programming and resources to assure the Abilities First School students strengthen their capacity to thrive in the workforce and in life. For those with intellectual or developmental disabilities, there exist additional challenges in meeting the expectations of everyday life, and continuing to develop as one grows into adulthood and toward independence. As with all children, education, physical development, and real life experience plays a critical role in their ability to thrive as students, with a goal toward thriving in the workforce. The Workforce Readiness Program will provide students the capacity to flourish in the workforce and in life.

As the Federal Government continues to increase the expectations and requirements of adults with special needs to be integrated into community living and the local workforce, it has become increasingly important for students in the Abilities First School to be well prepared to do so.

Funding will also provide lead sponsorship for the 2015, or 2016 Abilities First Educational Series, focused on “Transitioning”. The free community event is open to the public and provides valuable information to parents and caregivers in supporting students now and as they transition into an independent and thriving work life.

For more information on how you can support the Abilities First School, please contact Melissa McCoy at 845.485.9803 x223 or email melissamccoy@abilitiesfirstny.org.

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