We were delighted to have The Arc San Francisco‘s Kristen Pedersen, Director of Employment & Education Programs, and Marti Sullivan, Chief Development Officer, provide an overview of The Arc’s training, employment, support programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Alexander Totah, a recent graduate from its career advancement and employment support programs, also participated to share his experiences as an intern in government and industry.
The Arc’s workforce and lifelong learning center, which serves as the bridge between a pool of talented individuals and employers with distinct talent needs, positions itself as a unique talent solution for business. A key feature of The ARC’s model is founded on the principle of universal design for learning, which focuses on identifying clients’ employment goals, conducting strength-based assessments of learning and communication styles, and providing tools clients will need to be successful.
When employers first come to The ARC they typically have entry-level administrative and facilities positions that they struggle not only to fill but also retain individuals in. The ARC business solution offers employers a high return-on-investment by not only placing qualified individuals in those roles but also individuals who have better attendance and higher retention rates. The ARC accomplishes this through providing workplace supports such as job coaches who assist during onboarding and then gradually fade as clients become more independent in roles.
As part of its pre-employment preparation, the ARC has an emphasis on technology training through a partnership with Microsoft and the use of its teaching spaces. A key component of that training partnership is up-skilling individuals on the most current software products. The ARC had identified this as a service gap in non-profit training labs. The ARC is also a recent recipient of a grant from the San Francisco Office for Digital Equity to provide tiered levels of digital skill training for its clients.
The ARC’s track record of success with its dual-client process has been impressive:
- 331: Number of Arc clients working or in internships
- 8 years: Average length of tenure in employment positions
- 180: Employer partners
- 23: Number of ARC clients who have transitioned off cash benefits the past year
- 92%: Rate of successful placements
- 55%: Percentage of employed clients at 1 company for over 5 years
- 10%: Percentage of clients promoted or taking an upgraded position elsewhere
- 97%: Employer satisfaction rate (10 years in a row)