Job Shadow opportunities for Adults with disabilities in Elkhart

There is a new mission to create a more inclusive work force in Elkhart County.  
ADEC a non-profit that provides services for the disabled just started a program to increase the number of their clients who land jobs. 
ADEC’s first partner is the City of Elkhart and two participants have job shadowed since the beginning of the program two weeks ago. 

On Thursday, Dylan Eberly, 19 years-old of Elkhart, walked into the HR Department for a day on the job.  

Like many others he says he is looking for a career to deal with. 
“Job shadowing just seems like a really good way to see, ok do I want to do this for the rest of my life when I get out of college,” says Eberly. 
He's back home from Indiana University-Purdue University of Fort Wayne for the summer and now job shadowing in Elkhart’s Human Resource Department. 
At first sight you could never tell he has a disability. 

“I have ADHD and Asperger’s syndrome,” says Eberly.
He is one of ADEC’s first participants in a new job shadow program. 

“Don’t underestimate us because if we put our minds to it we are going to overcome something no matter what,” says Eberly.  

Eberly says in the disabled community it’s even harder to seek career opportunities even if it’s just a job shadow. 

“Often times the individuals we provide services for are underestimated. Just to break into the field of employment in any type of setting a lot of times there can be barriers there and challenges,” says Sarah Howard, ADEC’s Senior Manager of Community Employment.  

Howard partnered with the city of Elkhart and created the job shadow program that started in June. 
ADEC clients get the chance to job shadow in one of the city’s 20 departments. 
“If they are interested in something like planting flowers or custodial work we show them what is all involved,” says Rhonda Nelson, Head of the City of Elkhart’s HR Department.  
Nelson says the job shadow builds ADEC clients' resumes while the city gets to test out potential employees. 

“It’s kind of a win-win situation for ADEC and the city of Elkhart because we are more than willing to take their application and find them a position that you know they are able to do,” says Nelson. 
The city does not pay to participate and Howard says she hopes other companies jump on board to train those who can bring different experiences to the work place.
“Don’t bully just help out because sometimes that’s all you need is one person to help out,” says Eberly. 
For more information on how to partner with ADEC in providing job shadowing opportunities or to participate in the program contact Sara Howard at 574.522.7752 or  by email .


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