Posted on June 22, 2021
| 5:59 p.m.
PathPoint Pacifica Senior Living Project SEARCH team. (Courtesy photo)
PathPoint Pacifica Senior Living intern on housekeeping rotation. (Courtesy photo)
PathPoint recently launched a new Project SEARCH work-immersion program for adults with developmental disabilities, in partnership with Pacifica Senior Living in Santa Barbara.
Interns learn on-the-job skills at the workplace, rotating through the assisted-living facility departments, supported by PathPoint, which also provides classroom instruction on employment topics such as team building, computer literacy, job interviews, and health and safety.
After spending one year in the program, interns graduate with skills, confidence, and ongoing support in securing jobs in the community.
At the beginning, the program was modified for online job skill classes during the COVID-19 lockdown. Since October 2020, the interns have been working onsite with temperature checks before entering the building, regular COVID tests, full personal protective equipment, and physical distancing to ensure safety.
All interns and staff onsite have received COVID-19 vaccinations.
“Pacifica staff are great mentors, helping the interns develop skills in the housekeeping, activities, administration, and maintenance departments,” said Scott Myrvold, Project SEARCH coordinator.
“We’re especially appreciative of our community partners, working with us during the pandemic under strict health and safety guidelines, who share the goal of inclusive employment,” Myrvold said.
In California, only 35% of people with disabilities are employed, compared to 76.5% of the general population. During the pandemic, people with disabilities faced additional challenges. Programs such as Project SEARCH address employment disparities and provide businesses an extra boost to their team.
PathPoint is grateful to its community partner Pacifica Senior Living and their staff, Tri-Counties Regional Center, the Department of Rehabilitation, and MUFG Union Bank Foundation for supporting this innovative program.
The program is now accepting applications for the one-year internship which begins in August. Contact Myrvold at [email protected] For more on Project Search and PathPoint, visit https://www.pathpoint.org/services/project-search/ and http://www.projectsearch.us/.
PathPoint, a nonprofit based in Santa Barbara, supports people in living the life they choose. PathPoint partners with people with disabilities, people with mental health diagnoses, and young adults to pursue their hopes and dreams through strengthening workplace abilities, and building life skills.
Founded in 1964, PathPoint offers services in five counties: Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Ventura, Kern, and Los Angeles. For more, visit www.PathPoint.org.