Q: How many hours will I be working a week?
A: Once you have completed your skills training and have transitioned into the workplace, most FUTURES employees will be working 10 hours a week. But, the whole goal of the FUTURES curriculum is to tailor each job situation for each student, so you will help determine exactly how many hours a week you want to work, as long as you reach an agreement with the place you will be working, anything is appropriate.
Q: How long will the training portion take?
A: Enrollment, job exploration, assessment, skill training, workplace readiness training and shadowing will be around 10 -15 hours a week and last for approximately six months. But this will vary based on your goals, the career you’re interested in and what job you decide you want to pursue.
Q: What kinds of organizations will I have the option to work at?
A: You will have a wide variety of opportunities to choose from. The first step is for you to determine what career you are interested in and then we match you with the organizations that we partner with. If we don’t have a Business Partner that matches your career aspirations, we will go find one. FUTURES is structured to build opportunities around your interests, not force people into positions that are already pre-determined. We are focused on your interests, your needs and on fulfilling your dreams.
Q: What if the job is too demanding for me?
A: FUTURES will be partnering with you every step of the way. We will make sure you are fully-trained, fully-prepared and fully-transitioned in the workplace of your choice. We will be with you every day at your job and be answering questions and helping you communicate with supervisors and fellow employees. FUTURES was created to give you every possible chance for success. If, after you try your best to make a job work and you determine it’s not for you, then we’ll find you another job more appropriate for your skill and energy level.
Q: What if I get fired?
A: Being asked to leave a job is a risk everyone takes when accepting a new position. Your FUTURES team will be supporting you at every step, so you will be in constant communication with your FUTURES team and job supervisors to assess your performance and get further skill training if necessary. If, after making adjustments a job doesn’t work out, you will pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move forward just like everyone else who goes through this transition. And, you will be one step closer to your next opportunity!
Q: How long will someone be going to work with me?
A: For up to one year. This will vary based on your interests, your skill level and the job itself, but the FUTURES program is designed to support you for a full year.
Q: What is the relationship between The Resource Exchange and FUTURES?
A: FUTURES is a social enterprise, created by The Resource Exchange (TRE), a Colorado Springs non-profit, that partners with people who have developmental delays or intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD), to support them in achieving the life they want to live. Intellectual and developmental disabilities include autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy, among many others.
TRE’s programs are designed to partner with individuals throughout the course of their lives. FUTURES provides support at a crucial time in a person with IDD’s life: when they reach the age of 18 and no longer have access to services provided by the school system. Their support system suddenly ends. It is at this age that many people with IDD “fall off a cliff.” Most of them end up living at home or going to a day program or care center.
People with IDD have an 80% unemployment rate. Most people with IDD who do work, work part-time and for less than minimum wage. FUTURES embraces the reality that people with IDD, once provided the opportunity to aspire, will create a far greater quality of life for themselves and bring incalculable value to the community.