If you haven’t heard yet that Illinois is an Employment First State, then please allow us to be the first to tell you: If you are an adult with a developmental or intellectual disability in Illinois, then the first goal of any state-funded services you receive should focus on helping you achieve paid employment if you want it.
So, when Search was awarded a spot in the ComEd Energy Force Program for the second year in a row, we asked ourselves, “How can we help our ComEd Energy Force Ambassadors build workplace skills through their Ambassadorships in this employment-focused state?”
We quickly found the answer in Search’s No Boundaries – Train for Work, Train for Life classroom. Using tools from No Boundaries, we developed a curriculum for our Ambassadors, Bill and Dunham, through which they learned to coordinate events and manage supplies inventories via Google Calendar and Google Spreadsheets. Once mastered, these skills and tools, among others, became invaluable to our Ambassadors’ successful participation in the program and their preparation for the workforce.
ComEd’s Energy Force Program is the country’s first energy-efficiency education program designed for and taught by people with disabilities. Each year, ComEd partners with local Chicago-area nonprofits to choose Energy Force Ambassadors who promote energy efficiency at events around the area. The presentations focus on tips like turning off lights when you leave a room and replacing traditional light bulbs with energy efficient alternatives.
Last week, we got to share our best-practice training tools with 18 disability service agencies and 22 new Ambassadors who will participate in the Energy Force Program next year!