BRISTOL, INDIANA –  ADEC’s Employment Services have grown as ADEC has grown, and as more people with disabilities choose to join the workforce. Currently ADEC offers several different programs, each designed to make the most of each individual’s choices and abilities.

The first option is called Skills & Training: Some young adults with disabilities choose to join the workforce right out of school, but some young adults with disabilities find themselves in an awkward gap- they have graduated or “aged out” of the public-school system, but they would still like to develop job readiness skills before pursuing their career. The skills and training center is open to any individuals with disabilities interested in joining the workforce but is aimed at upcoming and recent high school graduates. Individuals receive certificates of completion to demonstrate job readiness to employers.

The second option is called ADEC Industries. Adec Industries (referred to informally as “The Shop”) is a manufacturing facility in Elkhart, IN. Employees are adults with IDD and adult ADEC clients are free to apply if they think the job fits their own abilities. Employees at ADEC Industries perform high-quality packaging and assembly work for industrial customers across the country and manufacture the Silver Linings trash bags that are used in all state government offices in Indiana. Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are employed at ADEC Industries, picking up valuable job skills while also earning a paycheck.

The third option is called Community Employment and works towards placements in local businesses. Working collaboratively with Vocational Rehabilitation and area businesses, ADEC’s Employment Coaches help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities find meaning and purpose through jobs throughout Elkhart and St. Joe Counties. Our coaches match workers with disabilities to open jobs in the area while also providing job coaching, training, assistance and support for the employees at no cost to the employer. Job shadowing is an opportunity that coaches are sometimes able to arrange where the individual can watch, and even help, someone who is doing the job they are interested in.

Recently a client had the chance to job shadow at ADEC’s own coffee shop, Gaining Grounds. Her name is Megie and her career goal is to become a barista. She got to spend a couple of hours with our Barista, Crystal, learning the ins and outs of a coffee shop, drink-making and customer service. Gaining Grounds is happy to be able to offer these kinds of opportunities. They’ve even built their own internship program to train two people with IDD, and are currently accepting applications here.

Check out Megie learning and having fun during a job shadowing.