Gersh Academy Approved as an OPWDD Employment Training Program partner

Student in Vocational Learning

Gersh Academy is very pleased to announce that we have been approved as an OPWDD Employment Training Program partner. The New York State Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is committed to increasing the number of individuals with developmental disabilities working in their communities.

The Employment Training Program (ETP) offers job seekers with developmental disabilities opportunities to pursue paid internships in community businesses with the goal of gaining competitive and fully integrated employment. The goals of ETP are to provide a comprehensive process to assist young adults in learning about the world of work, gain real work experience, acquire work skills, build relationships at work while and maintaining gainful employment.

OPWDD utilizes the Employment Training Program (ETP) as a way to partner with schools that have the same goals about employment for their students in high school. Components of the program include discovery and job readiness training. A customized approach is then used to develop a job that matches a person’s interests and skills with the needs of a business. During the student’s final year of high school, OPWDD then pays the ETP participant a minimum wage salary (with non-Medicaid funds) while they intern at their worksite. Job development and job coaching supports are provided by the high school staff. Every ETP participant has a job description that is used to assess their progress in meeting the employer’s expectations. At the end of the internship the ETP participant is often hired by the business. OPWDD has only partnered with a handful of Long Island High Schools in the past and BOCES.

Approximately 67% of the high school students that participate in ETP are working after leaving high school. ETP has created opportunities for OPWDD to get into high schools and connect with educators and families prior to OPWDD’s Front Door Process.

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. More Information