Beacons is pleased to announce its selection as one of four organizations in San Diego County selected by the San Diego Workforce Partnership to train and hire individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. Grant funding through Project Inspire will enable Beacons to recruit and hire individuals starting July 1, 2022. Grant funding through Project Inspire ranges up to $99,000.
"We are beyond excited with the San Diego Workforce Partnership's commitment to increasing employment of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities," said Beacons President Lucile Lynch. "This generous grant will enable us to identify and create employment opportunities tailored to the skills and interests of those with disabilities in north county."
Beacons provides vocational training and social/recreational opportunities to approximately 100 individuals a year. Since opening its doors in November 2018, Beacons has had to expand twice to meet the growing demand for its services. Beacons was one of the few nonprofits that continued its services uninterrupted during the pandemic.
Vocational training is provided through two divisions: PathFinder and Explorer, both of which provide training at no cost to participants through funding from the San Diego Regional Center. This past fall, Beacons found employment for 100% of its trainees who wanted to work.
PathFinder offers four-month vocational training sessions in the spring and fall in the areas of creative design, customer service, entrepreneurial skills, office skills and writing. In the summer, PathFinder offers vocational exploration opportunities in areas that may include flower arranging, graphic design, culinary arts, painting and other areas.
Explorer, launched in April 2022, offers vocational training through four 5-month sessions over a two-year period for individuals who may need more time to identify their employment pathways and develop job skills. The goal of both vocational divisions is to meet the call to action set forth in the State's Employment First policy (adopted by the legislature under the Lanterman Act) to make competitive integrated employment for individuals with disabilities, regardless of the severity of disabilities, one of the state's highest priorities.