A Strong Foundation for Professional Growth
Over the years, Triangle, Inc. has continued to adapt our services and develop new initiatives to address the evolving needs of people with disabilities. The traditional framework of disability service organizations left individuals with disabilities feeling isolated in jobs that paid them less than minimum wage on warehouse floors. The shift from that “sheltered workshop” format to inclusive, community-based employment has been an exciting journey for our participants and staff members alike. The effects of this transition are widespread, and we are proud to have been at the forefront – challenging outdated systems and creating innovative solutions. One of these solutions is our Career Pathways program, offering specialized certification in high-demand fields. When the program began, participants could choose between two Pathways: Certified Nursing Assistant / Home Health Aide (CNA/HHA) or Culinary Arts. Graduates of these Career Pathways have been placed in their field at a 78% rate, many retaining well past 90 days. Based on this success, we decided to expand our offerings to include two additional tracks in 2018 that have already seen similarly positive results: Retail and Property Maintenance.
Each of the four pathways combine a curriculum of professional development, specialized certification courses, and 1:1 job coaching that make the programs mutually beneficial for both employers and employees-to-be, ensuring long-term success. Through Triangle’s partnerships with leaders in growth industries, our Career Pathways graduates are equipped with the skills that help us connect them – as well-trained job seekers – with career track opportunities.
The Careers Pathways: Retail program provides job seekers with credentialed training from the National Retail Federation that focuses on long-term success in an industry plagued by constant turnover that is bad for the employee, employer, and overall economy. The Career Pathways: Property Maintenance program delivers OSHA-10 certification, offering graduates the training and hands-on experience necessary to pursue a career in environmental services or property management. All Career Pathways programs include additional training on workers’ rights, employability, self-advocacy, and professional and leadership skills.
Applicants that show the desire and ability to complete a full Career Pathways program are recruited with the help of our school and community partners. Once accepted, they begin their journey with a Career Readiness Bootcamp. Here, students cover material that ranges from setting and achieving goals to outlining expectations for professional conduct. Only after completing this foundational course do participants begin their chosen credentialed training program. Each program has been specially adapted, taking into consideration the needs of a variety of learning styles. This flexibility, along with support from Triangle staff members throughout the entire process, ensures that every Career Pathways graduate can confidently take the next step towards an engaging and sustainable career.
Our staff members recognize the systemic barriers to educational and professional success that many within the disability community face. It is our goal to help individuals with disabilities navigate the numerous support systems available to them and capitalize on all available resources that help each individual find success. The Career Pathways program gives us a great opportunity to do this by offering industry-recognized credentials to qualified job seekers, who are then better equipped to find competitive employment within growth industries.