TRI Transition to Work Connects Disabled Youth with Employers

For more than 40 years, The Rehabilitation Institute (TRI) in Westbury, New York, has been helping area individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities empower themselves through educational services and job skills training.

One of TRI’s most critical functions in the community is to prepare its youth for the real working world. The nonprofit offers a number of avenues for skills training through its Transition to Work program, which operates in collaboration with area school districts.

In accordance with state and federal guidelines, TRI conducts aptitude and vocational interest assessments for young people aged 15 to 21. The organization then develops a realistic course of study and training and offers participants a number of part- or full-time career learning opportunities in a wide variety of vocational fields, including building maintenance, graphic design, clerical services, and retail. The skills development program takes place at TRI’s Westbury campus and operates in conjunction with special education programs at the students’ schools.

TRI’s program also provides important support services to ensure that each participant is realizing his or her goals. In addition, participants can take advantage of the program’s mentorships, job coaching, and internships to gain exposure to real-life work experiences beyond the school campus.

TRI’s Transition to Work initiative consists of a number of programs throughout the calendar year. Besides the regular program, which roughly follows a 10-month school schedule, there is also a summer option, called Journey to Independence, that provides vocational training, as well as basic travel and life skills development.

As students mature through the program, TRI continues to support them with adult transitional services. The organization’s Transition to Work coordinator can tap TRI’s extensive network of partner businesses to place graduates into meaningful, fulfilling careers. Countless area employers, including Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates, have benefited from the skills and talents of individuals who have completed TRI’s vocational training programs.