Examples of Racial & Social Equity in Employment

Start Young

Employment starts way before submitting a resume. It starts in early childhood. Children in grade schools are provided examples of careers they might like to try. 99.9% of these "examples" are provided by people without disabilities leaving the kids with disabilities in the classroom unsure if they could really do that type of work. The same is for students who do not see "examples" in the same race/ethnicity as they are. Being inspired to do something begins with the belief or thought that you can do it. If you never see someone like you as the example, your inspiration is reduced considerably.

Careers for YOU! - project or program that funds a strong variety of "examples" of different individuals with varying degrees providing employment inspiration to all youth. These teams of "examples" would follow youth with disabilities, those of color, and/or those who are otherwise marginalized throughout their educational experience offering peer support, encouragement, resources, and opportunities to see people like them who are successful in careers interesting to them. These programs could be supported through the Dept. of Education in collaboration with the Administration on Community Living, Center's for Independent Living Services. As these students enter into transition age, services shift to Fast Track (Illinois program) like programs working in tandem with STEP Programs currently available and then on to higher education and/or employment support. Current state vocational services should be reviewed for success rates (rates not determined by "successful placements" but by surveying participants).

To obtain racial and social equity in employment will entail a systemwide review and changes. It can not be a 1 and done service. It must be an ongoing, structured, supported, and inspiring program.


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Idea No. 593