Mandy Cooke, Community Employment Specialist for EmployAbility, presented a very informative program at the Exchange Club of Effingham’s August 15 meeting. She spoke about how EmployAbility serves the differently abled individuals in the community with a goal of turning a disability into an ability. Mandy is the Job Developer/Job Coach for Effingham Project Search.
EmployAbility started in 1951. In the 50’s-60’s it was focused on providing day care for disabled individuals. In 1972 it incorporated skill building. In 1979 to present, it has offered a sheltered workshop and directed community employers to hire differently abled individuals. It still offers day habilitation for more disabled individuals. EmployAbility has matched up close to 70 individuals with new jobs in the community just since February of 2017. One individual has been employed for 30 years in one job. There are over 10 employers in Effingham County who have employed differently abled individuals. The average wage is $9.03 per hour, but some make over $15 per hour. By helping these individuals find employment that matches up with their skills, EmployAbility has helped hundreds who are no longer dependent on social security and also gives them self esteem. Many is shown with Yvette Carr, President of the Exchange Club of Effingham.