The Bucks County Intermediate Unit (Bucks IU) hosted its annual EmployAbility Expo May 1.
Held at the Bucks IU’s administrative building in Doylestown, the event drew more than 100 Bucks County high school students with disabilities who were interested in practicing and developing the confidence, skills, and strategies they will need to obtain and retain employment in today’s economy.
The morning began with a motivational keynote speaker to set the tone, get the students to relax and focus so that they could each get the full benefit out of the expo. The interactive presentation stressed preparing and practicing with a take away message about making positives out negatives by turning them into a learning experience. Breakout sessions were also offered to support and train the students in areas such as strategies on finding a job, professionalism, workplace etiquette, and how to create critical job documents such as résumés and portfolios.
Each student had the opportunity to participate in at least three practice job interviews with volunteer personnel from area businesses and organizations. The students gained valuable hands-on experience on how to comport themselves in a professional manner while answering various standard questions. Upon completion of each interview, the students were given immediate feedback on how well they did against a checklist that was provided to all of the interviewers.
The following businesses and organizations supported the event: AHEDD, Altman Management Group, Bucks County Department of Mental Health/Developmental Programs (MH/DP), County of Bucks, Dun & Bradstreet, ECRI Institute, ESS Mission One, Excel Home Care, Flatiron School, Indian Creek Foundation, Ivy Hill Therapeutic Equestrian Center, JBT Corporation – Automated Systems, Juno Search Partners, Lenape Valley Foundation, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Oldcastle Precast, Operant Coffee, LLC, PA CareerLink Bucks County – Bristol, Pennridge School District, Premier Brokerage Services Inc. and SEPA SHRM.