Orange County Summer Events and Enhanced Services
This summer, employU had the opportunity to provide our clients residing in Orange County with enhanced services thanks to funds received through a grant from the Orange County government. A total of 20 clients participated in these summer events, which started on June 18th with a tour of Valencia’s Center for Accelerated Training located in downtown Orlando. The tour gave clients an overview of the various construction, manufacturing, and medical assistant certifications that Valencia offers. Through this in-depth tour, they learned about the EBA program, CNC, Carpentry and Welding Programs, and the Mechatronics certifications. Students also learned about the average wage for these careers and more about the manufacturing field. These programs, which are Vocational Rehabilitation approved, vary in length from 10-21 weeks. Participants receive instructor-led support with class sizes averaging 10 students per group. Academic supports and any required accommodations are also provided. This tour was such a success that it was offered again on July 22nd with even more students in attendance.
A tour of Orlando Fire Station 1 was also available to students interested in emergency services. The tour included meeting some of the firefighters, a brief history of Station 1, and an overview of the different types of vehicles at the station and the supplies they contain. Students also received an overview of the ranks of firefighters within the station and how that dictates where they sit within the fire engine. During the tour, students were able to see the dorm, the gym, and the common areas. They also had the opportunity to ask questions about the lifestyle of firefighters, the fire station, the vehicles, and the local community for a fully informative and immersive touring experience.
In addition to interactive tours, certifications were offered as part of the Orange County enhanced services this summer. Eight students received their Servsafe certification by June 25th. The employU staff assisted with the registration of the course and informed the students on the importance of the Servsafe certification and how the course platform is set up. employU staff also assisted students with any materials they needed clarity on. Participants expressed that they enjoyed the training, felt the course was informative, and are very excited to be able to add this certification to their resume.
The OSHA certification training was another popular service offered this summer. Clients attended the OSHA training from June 6th through June 9th at the employU Orlando office. They first received an overview of the course and then job coaches assisted with the registration process to ensure the correct information was entered. During this four-day course, students worked through nine modules and a final exam. Job coaches provided assistance with accommodations throughout the course.
Krystal was one of the students who attended the OSHA training. She initially ran into some technical issues during the beginning of the course, but with some assistance from employU staff, she was able to gain confidence with the completion of each module and pass the exam with flying colors!
Another student, Jorge found the OSHA and ServSafe certifications he received through employU’s enhanced services this summer to be the ticket he needed to land a job he had been pursuing for some time. In the past, Jorge completed two on-the-job training experiences at Romano’s Macaroni Grill. Since working there was one of his favorite experiences, he applied for a permanent position in early June. He received a response that stated the restaurant didn’t think they had any positions available that would suit him. But after adding the ServSafe and OSHA certifications to his resume, he reached out to them again. As a result of his persistence and the new certifications, he was hired to be a busser. Jorge continues learning how to overcome challenges within the workplace every day and loves working at Romano’s Macaroni Grill.
Lastly, a CPR training event took place on July 28th. Hosted by ibuild Central Florida, the event had an incredible turnout of twelve eager students. A 4-hour hands-on learning experience, clients were educated on basic first-aid safety and AED training to receive their CPR certification. Curriculum included performing CPR on others, the Heimlich maneuver, use of an AED machine, responding to poisonings, and more.
Many clients have shown interest in pursuing the medical field after graduation, especially 18-year-old Maddie. Maddie has a passion for working with kids and animals and wanted to seek further education in becoming a nurse. Maddie was excited to renew her CPR certification alongside her peers and continue her path in pursuing the career of her dreams.
employU is extremely proud of all of our students who took advantage of the opportunities provided by the funding of the Orange County Grant this summer. With such interest and success, we hope to continue to offer these services and more to our students in the future and look forward to helping them make the most of their summer experiences.