Progress was one of two agencies in Tennessee to receive funding from Sprouts Farmer’s Market Neighborhood Grants. The grants are funded through Sprouts’ “Round Up for Our Community” program, which takes place annually in stores across the United States. The Neighborhood Grants Program encompasses three focus areas: Health Nutrition and Education, Food Security and Hunger Relief, and Disabilities and Health Concerns. This funding will support Day and Employment Programs at Progress. This includes Project Search, Ticket to Work and Community Based Day programs. Progress is extremely grateful for this funding and looks forward to partnering with Sprouts Farmer's Market. More information about Sprouts Farmer’s Market and grant recipients can be found at www.Sprouts.com. Sprouts locations in Middle Tennessee include Franklin and Murfreesboro.
NASHVILLE, TN – August, 16 2016 – Progress received a $30,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program to assist with employment support for people with disabilities. Specifically, this grant will positively impact the local community by providing a variety of services including internships and placements for people with disabilities, helping them to successfully acquire and retain employment. Through the Employment Services Program, Progress uses a multi-pronged approach. The Employment Services Program is comprised of several categories - Project SEARCH, Ticket to Work and Job Training/Placement.
“The Walmart Foundation has demonstrated that they have dedicated themselves to bettering our community, in this case specifically supporting people with intellectual disabilities and employment skill building.” said Progress Executive Director Donna Goodaker. “We are extremely grateful for this gift; the foundation understands the magnitude of the disparity in employment for people with disabilities versus the rest of the population. The people we serve want to work, they just need the supports behind them to excel, and the Walmart Foundation understands the need as much as we do. ”
The Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program supports organizations that create opportunities so people can live better, awarding grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the U.S.
Two graduation ceremonies were held for Project SEARCH graduates of the 2016 graduating classes of both Embassy Suites and the Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital. Graduates spent the past year gaining valuable employment training and real life experiences to help them work independently and be self-sufficient in their future employment goals. At each of the ceremonies, graduates gave speeches about their experiences and thanked their families, program staff and donors for their support throughout the program.
Project SEARCH provides individuals with disabilities tuition-free job training and educational, developmental, and employment opportunities. Project SEARCH is a nine month unpaid internship, and at the completion of the program graduates are employment ready. Of the most current graduating class, 92% achieved employment at graduation time. The goal of Project SEARCH is to fill a business need with qualified individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities.
One graduate explained, “Project Search was great because we got to train on different job sites before we applied for the positions. Also, the job coaches were wonderful. I also liked that we learned about things such as Credo, safety in the workplace, and good ways to spend money. I want to thank everyone at Project Search.”
Project SEARCH is a national program with various sites managed by non-profit organizations around the country. Progress operates the two Project SEARCH sites in Nashville, which are located at Embassy Suites and the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital. More information about the national program can be found at http://www.projectsearch.us/
For information about Project SEARCH in Nashville please contact Pam Hollingsworth at 615-399-3000 or via email or visit the Progress Project SEARCH webpage.
California Closets and 94 FM The Fish hosted an evening of fashion and fun in support of Project SEARCH and Autism Speaks on Saturday, April 2nd at California Closets in Franklin. The event featured live performances by Jaci Velasquez & Nic Gonzales and blue runway fashion show displaying evening wear designed by Project Runway’s Jonathan Kayne, modeled by Project SEARCH graduates.
The event kicked off a month-long promotion at California Closets, during which a percentage of profits in April will be donated to Project SEARCH. Additionally, Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop has chosen Project SEARCH for their “Pie It Forward” program for the month of April. Proceeds from the pie of the month Chewy Chocolate Chip will be donated to the Project SEARCH program.
Project SEARCH at Vanderbilt is a program facilitated by Progress. Project SEARCH is a 9 month internship for people with disabilities which focuses on a rotation of various jobs throughout the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and Vanderbilt University Medical Center as well as classroom training. The internship does not guarantee job placement, but rather provides hands-on training and experience in various positions. There are over 40 past interns (graduates) currently employed within the Vanderbilt system. This program has had many success stories and equips participants with the tools needed for workplace success. Progress has been a leader in serving people with intellectual disabilities for over 40 years through a variety of services designed to assist individuals in living healthy, happy and safe lives.
Progress is extremely grateful for the support of California Closets, 94 FM The Fish and Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop for coordinating this fundraiser. The event was an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about Project SEARCH and its many success stories. For more information about Project SEARCH please contact Pam Hollingsworth at 615-577-4721 or email P.Hollingsworth@Progress-Inc.org
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