The North County Coastal Integrated Employment Program creates individualized service plans for adults with developmental disabilities who desire supplementary income, independence and sense of belonging in society. E&CO staff members gauge the individual’s skills, experience and goals to develop a custom-tailored approach specific to attaining one’s optimum potential in life.
The program will serve adults with developmental disabilities in and around the North County Coastal area including Carlsbad, Oceanside, Solana Beach and La Jolla (UTC). Since most of the vocational skills and jobs are performed within the community and not limited to one specific area like a site-based program, the expansion has proved seamless thus far.
“A coastal presence will make the transition to expand to inland North County easier as well,” said Nancy Batterman, CEO of Employment & Community Options. “We are currently identifying families in San Marcos and Vista that are interested in our services.”
Program Manager Ryan White was hired to lead the North County Coastal group after acquiring four years of management experience with the organization in San Jose.
“Our program design is currently unrepresented in this geographic area, so it has been very well received by the North County Coastal community,” said White. “While there are other organizations that serve people with developmental disabilities in this area, our 100 percent community-based vocational program is unique and that community emersion isn’t really reflected in the area.”
Of course, no integrated employment program would be a success barring a strong relationship with local employers to hire these individuals. E&CO currently partners with over 200 California businesses, most of whom are eager to gain dependable employees as well as help their community.
“Although the economy has been a challenge for us over the last few years, the strong partnerships we’ve formed with local employers have assisted us in carrying out our vision to create universal social equality for everyone,” White said.
North County Roots
E&CO’s integrated employment program has been so successful that the participants are considering taking their careers to the next level by becoming entrepreneurs. A Micro-enterprise pilot program was launched in 2009 with Coronado Enterprise Group, and Poway will likely be next to follow in their footsteps.
To show its appreciation to the North County community, E&CO Poway participants will be participating in the Poway Days Heritage Parade on September 18th. The group will also be sponsoring the “Ye Old Fishing Hole” game at the picnic immediately following the parade. The parade and picnic are free to attend.
For more information on Employment & Community Options (currently celebrating their 25th year of providing extraordinary services) please visit http://www.communityoptions.org.
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About Employment & Community Options
E&CO is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) human services organization that creates and supports opportunities for adults with disabilities and economically disadvantaged seniors in making choices to live, work and enjoy life in their community with dignity and respect. On an annual basis, E&CO serves approximately 1,600 individuals in five counties: San Diego, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Alameda and San Bernardino. E&CO is a CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) accredited provider.