ECF believes that every adult who wants to work deserves the opportunity to earn a paycheck. Too often, adults with developmental disabilities face barriers to employment due to lack of experience and specialized training. Exceptional Works is a continuum of employment services to help participants find, secure and maintain employment in the community.
The Accelerated Preparation Program expedites the time it takes adults with lower-than-average work productivity levels (below 75%) to prepare for more advanced employment training by:
- Teaching the work, life and soft skills needed to become employable.
- Assessing participant strengths and matching training to their interests.
- Providing customized instruction and training materials for each individual.
- Offering work experience that pays minimum wage while providing support and training around work habits, behaviors and skills.
Participants complete the program with a broader set of skills and increased self-motivation to accelerate their transition into Work Readiness classes or the Exceptional Training Academy.
Work Readiness Classes
Through instruction and group learning, participants develop the skills needed to conduct a job search and maintain employment, including: understanding different job opportunities, completing applications, writing a resume, interviewing, professional grooming and hygiene, workplace communication, and personal development and growth.
Participants who have successfully completed the Accelerated Preparation Program or individuals who are currently participating in the Exceptional Training Academy or Exceptional Packaging Solutions may also participate in Work Readiness classes.
This program provides participants with a combination of vocational skill training and paid work experience at minimum wage. Individuals with a 75% work productivity level or higher may participate daily in paid work experience with packaging and assembly of contract work secured by ECF.
During work experience hours, participants also receive training in professionalism and following detailed instructions, with a focus on increasing attention span and maintaining a high work productivity level – a requirement for continued participation in the program. Participants work in an integrated setting alongside members of the local community, accelerating their teamwork skills and preparing them for community-based work.
For the non-working portion of their day, participants may take Work Readiness (see above) classes or use their time to accomplish their other goals, such as attending community college, volunteering, and participating in different programs.
This year-long vocational training program is designed for adults who have previously faced barriers to employment due to a lack of specific training and/or skills in specialized disciplines. Participants receive a combination of classroom and hands-on training in the area of their choice: Computer Literacy, Janitorial Training, Retail Sales, Warehouse Operations or Culinary Arts.
Upon successful completion of their training, participants will have learned the skills necessary to help them secure meaningful employment with a community employer. Participants also have the option to participate in the Exceptional Packaging Solutions program for up to three hours per day, earning minimum wage.
Mindspark Training Academy
This vocational training program prepares individuals with an interest in technology and a keen eye for detail, particularly those on the autism spectrum, to become software testers. Participants receive classroom instruction that includes a structured curriculum and hands-on computer learning experiences. Upon completion of the training program, graduates are offered a paid apprenticeship as a software testing analyst with a local software company. Upon successful completion of their apprenticeship, most participants earn permanent employment with the software company. This program is offered through a partnership between ECF and Mindspark Technologies.
Uniquely Abled Initiative
This program is an innovative certification job training program designed for individuals on the autism spectrum who are high-functioning and interested in learning how to become computer numerical control (CNC) machine operators, a position employed by many aerospace companies to measure and document machine parts for accuracy. Training topics include programming, setup, shop mathematics and blueprint reading. This program is offered through a partnership between ECF and Glendale Community College.
Exceptional Employment Solutions
This program helps participants prepare for obtaining and retaining community-based employment earning a fair market wage – and, with many jobs, benefits as well. First, clients’ interests and skills are assessed to help determine what types of jobs would be a good match for them. Next, they receive job search and interview support. Once hired, they can receive ongoing job coaching and case management services from ECF to ensure a smooth transition into their new role, and to foster solid communications between the client and their employer.
ECF proudly partners with over 70 local businesses to provide a wide variety of employment opportunities for program participants in industries including retail, computer software testing, clerical, warehouse operations, culinary services and janitorial. This range of opportunity increases participants self-determination, financial security and independence.
For more information about Exceptional Works programs, contact Deborah Diaz-Arrendo at 310-242-4423 or DDiaz@ECF.net
“When my first paycheck arrived, I was very proud of myself.”
“One day, because of my work
experience, I can be a boss.”
420 E. Hyde Park Boulevard
Inglewood, CA 90302
ECF partners with Regional Centers in Los Angeles County for referrals. The primary referring Regional Centers for Exceptional Works programs are:
- Westside Regional Center
- South Central Los Angeles Regional Center
- Lanterman Regional Center
- North Los Angeles County Regional Center
To locate a Regional Center in your community, click here.