WARSAW — Cardinal Services recently received notice from Dekko Foundation they will match $1 for every $1 raised (up to $25,000) in support of Cardinal’s Pre-Employment Transition Services program.
Pre-ETS is a workforce readiness program for students ages 14 to 22. The grant will help Cardinal’s Pre-ETS program will serve 300 students with intellectual/developmental disabilities in Kosciusko, Steuben, DeKalb, and Whitley counties.
Students will develop both soft and hard skills to prepare them for the job market. With guidance from Cardinal, students will identify their skill strengths and develop job-specific skills. In addition, they will be nurtured in their social skills, communication, and self-advocacy among other skills needed for successful employment and independent living.
Services that Cardinal will implement with the students include work-based learning, job exploration and shadowing, self-advocacy, and post-secondary counseling. Cardinal will also provide counseling and support for the student’s caregiver, schools, employers, and other community partners. The project also includes new virtual opportunities for job training, skill building and exploration through Transfr, an economic development platform that provides immersive simulated job training in a variety of fields.
“Working with students for these years prior to their leaving school will give them the jump start they need to launch into a successful life,” said Cardinal Services Executive Director, Vickie Lootens. “It will also benefit our community, providing a pool of young employees who are skilled and ready to work.”