Miami, June 17, 2019 – As the economy grows, the once tight job market is beginning to open its doors to more diverse skilled workers, including persons with disabilities. According to the Social Security Administration, in 2017 more than 51,000 people traded disability checks for paychecks, up from about 32,000 four years earlier. Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Model for Enhanced Employment Development (MEED+) program is helping improve those statistics by providing career services to students with disabilities seeking work.
Expanded last year with a $250,000 Strategic Employment Placement Initiative Grant from The Able Trust, the MEED+ program is available through the college’s A Comprehensive Center for Exceptional Student Services (ACCESS), which provides support and tools to help students with disabilities succeed. Students receive job readiness assistance, including individualized support for resume and cover letter development, job and internship search, interviewing skills, technology training, and access to an annual ACCESS-MEED job fair. So far, 24 students have been hired.
Among the students who have benefited from ACCESS services is Rudolph Pierre, a 2018 MDC grad continuing his studies in journalism and communications. After receiving help with his resume and job search, he landed his first job with Public Allies. Melanie C. Young, MDC Class of 2019, completed an associate degree in exceptional student education at the North Campus. She works at the Student Life office and is planning to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
“It was my childhood dream to come to MDC,” Young said. “Ever since I saw an MDC commercial on TV that said opportunity changes everything.”
To learn more about MDC’s ACCESS services, visit www.mdc.edu/access.