Internship program a ‘win-win’ for disabled, businesses

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The Kelberman Center Employment Program offers various opportunities for people to obtain meaningful work experiences.

Andrew Lovenguth is one of those participants who has not only taken part in the center’s College Coaching Program, but its Pre-Employment Transitional Services (Pre-ETS) program as well.

After graduating from high school in June 2019, Lovenguth completed his first year of college at Mohawk Valley Community College for Computer Information Systems. Lovenguth then joined the Kelberman Center Pre-ETS program, eager to learn work readiness and self-advocacy skills, along with obtaining his first job.

Steve Clark, executive director at Delta Lake Bible Conference Center in Rome, met with The Kelberman Center employment team and discussed an opportunity for an internship at their up-and-coming screen printing business, Generous TEES. Lovenguth interviewed with Clark and was officially offered an internship.

Lovenguth said he was beyond thrilled and excited to begin his new employment adventure. His love for fun shirt logos and the opportunity to learn new computer programs made the internship a perfect fit and the goal of this vocational program.

“We are so excited that Generous TEES can provide the environment for Andrew and so many others to come and learn life and trade skills and create quality products,” said Clark.

Tara Costello, Kelberman Center executive director, said one of the Kelberman Center’s goals is to assess people’s interests and job readiness skills through job coaching to find the perfect opportunity for participants to work on these skills in a real-life business setting.

“The key to this experience is finding community businesses and organizations willing to offer internship and work opportunities to the people we support,” Costello said. “The Delta Lake Bible Conference Center is a perfect example of a business that has embraced our mission and was ready to give the people we support the opportunity to thrive and to explore their interests. This is a win-win situation for all parties involved.”

For more information about Kelberman Center Employment Services, for those interested in supported employment or for businesses with internship opportunities, contact Rachel Richie, assistant director of Community Services, at rachel.richie@kelbermancenter.org.

The Kelberman Center, an affiliate of Upstate Caring Partners, Inc. is a leading provider of autism services for children, adults and families in the Mohawk Valley and Central New York. The Kelberman Center provides comprehensive programming and services for people throughout all phases of life, from early childhood through adulthood, including: Home and Community Based, Education, Clinical, Residential and Recreation. For information, go online to https://kelbermancenter.org.

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