A project of AccessAbility, Inc.
AccessAbility Works! It's immediate. It's long-term. It's life-changing.
“ I have walked into a store and dreamt about things I wanted to buy. Now I work in a store and buy those things I need for my children and earn a living here.” Quote from a previous participant of AccessAbility’s Project Connect program.
AcessAbility for over 60 years has provided immediate work and training for people that want to work, but need more support to be successful. It helps people with barriers such as developmental disabilities, people with mental health issues, those existing chemical dependency or criminal justice programs and people who are transitioning from welfare to work.
The scope of the people that AccessAbility serves is very broad. We believe that diversity leverages our success with people in all of our programs. This diversity enables AccessAbility to serve a higher number of people with complex and enduring needs than almost any other Twin Cities agency of its kind. People with the most challenging and complicated barriers to employment can find help with us.
Two operations of AccessAbility function together to foster economic independence.
1. AccessAbility Business Services operates as a competitive business offering document conversion and destruction, contract manufacturing, assembly, packaging and other business services. AccessAbility offers business services that offer people the chance to gain mid-to-high level marketable skills and earn wages while they gain experience.
2. People participating in programs are supported through Case Management and Job Coaching. Case managers and job coaches specialize in workplace skills and training. They collaborate with other agencies to create a specific plan for each client to solve the network of problems like housing, childcare, substance abuse, family issues, transportation, and healthcare that can keep a person from succeeding in the workplace.
Project Connect participants include those who have little or no work histories, limited literacy, recent immigrants and refugees, individuals overcoming mental health challenges, recent addictions, or those with corrections records. Many of those participating in Project Connect are single mothers, are immigrants or refugees from Somalia, and nearly all are people of color. Many are homeless and struggling to secure affordable housing for themselves and their children. After working with AccessAbility for a specific period of time, typically between 3 and 6 months, clients transition to private sector jobs with the support of AccessAbility staff.
In 2010, over 331 people were served in Project Connect. Of the 331 in the program, 136 people were placed in jobs in the community. After one year 90% of those placed were still working in their jobs. We believe that initially learning the soft skills of how to get and keep a job, as well as the hard skills is the key to the success of program particpants.
-Women and men who have been chronically unemployed who now find themselves with real work, a real paycheck, and real hope.
-Employers who find staff offering job readiness, loyalty and stability, or
-Public agencies and taxpayers who save $10,800 per program participant per year in real dollars as people move from welfare into paying jobs in the private sector.
AccessAbility undertook an asset transfer of Imagine Design in late 2008 including its product line consisting of framed affirmations, bookmarks, and other contemporary gift items. Now, these popular and affordable products are entirely designed, produced and distributed by AccessAbility and those moving from welfare to work which provides over 50,000 hours of full-time work annually to all programs.
AccessAbility really works. It's immediate. It's long-term. It's life-changing.