Workshop Aims to Help Youth with Disabilities Find Work

Updated: 02/05/2014 9:26 AM
Created: 02/05/2014 8:30 AM
By: Jennie Olson

We know it’s not an easy time to find a job, and for young people hoping to join the workforce it’s even more difficult.

On Wednesday, groups around the Twin Cities Metro are working to change that.

Here in Minnesota, the unemployment rate for young people is about twice the state unemployment rate, and the figures are similar nationwide. There are simply less entry-level positions, and adults are being hired for the jobs teens used to do.

It’s even tougher for young people with disabilities.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, about 26 percent of teenagers ages 16-19 have jobs. For people with disabilities, that drops to about 13 percent.

On Wednesday, the PACER Center is hosting a workshop to help youth with disabilities find work. They say those jobs are so important because they teach young people how to be good employees and help them find their passions.

A director at the PACER Center tells KSTP that even though this group is willing to work, they often just don’t have the opportunity. They also say that most people with disabilities can hold the same jobs as people without disabilities. Some may need support from a job coach or a part-time position, but they are asking businesses to think creatively about how they can help.

The workshop will talk about how to apply for jobs, how to qualify for benefits and the perks of working and going to school. It takes place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the PACER Center. Parents, teens, and employers are all invited.

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