The world of work
Teens with developmental disabilities job-train at ELCH
EAST LIVERPOOL — East Liverpool City Hospital has been recognized for enabling teens with developmental disabilities to experience the world of work in its housekeeping and dietary departments.
Gregg Harding operates the Job Training Program at East Liverpool High School, placing students with developmental disabilities with local employers. He said City Hospital is one of five employers currently in the program, and has been for 10 years.
Currently there are three teens from the program who train three half-days a week in the hospital’s dietary and housekeeping departments. The school provides transportation to job sites, Harding said.
Working alongside hospital employees, students learn the essentials of getting hired and keeping a job, such as prompt response to instructions from a supervisor and how to respond to conflicts and problems in the workplace.
“ELCH is considered one of our top-tier sites,” Harding said. “Students display the real-world, functional skills expected from all employees. ELCH staff takes pride in being mentors to our kids. The skills learned at the hospital help our students transition smoothly into post-secondary employment.”
Employees at City Hospital who supervise students on the job include Jerry Blaschak, Cindy Smith, Summer Bailey, Lisa Paynter and Ryan Copeland.
Shirley Bowald, employment development manager for Reach 4 More program, said that teens with developmental disabilities gain valuable experience and self-confidence in this program, giving them a better chance of obtaining gainful employment after high school.
“ELCH also has served as a summer work site for adults with disabilities during several summers, and in the past has hired individuals with disabilities as well,” Bowald added.
Reach 4 More is a program of the Columbiana County Board of Developmental Disabilities which works to place clients with disabilities in gainful employment within their local communities.
For more information about Reach 4 More, people may contact Shirley Bowald or Paul Anthony at 330.870.4272.