Young Adults Transitions to Work

Person working in a school

An estimated 5,200 adults with disabilities in the Boston Jewish community have jobs. But for every one of them, four more – 19,000 in all – are unemployed. Hoping for the kind of independence that only a job can make possible, these members of our community are ready and eager to work.

The Ruderman Family Foundation is proud to announce a bold new undertaking designed to move Jewish young adults ages 18-30 with disabilities into the workplace, and a life of productivity, confidence and independence.

Beginning this fall, Young Adult Transitions to Work, in partnership with Boston’s Federation – Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) – and the Jewish Vocational Service (JVS), will begin recruiting participants. It is expected that within 5 years the program will help several hundred young adults become successfully employed.

A key element of the Transitions program is the Employer Partnership, a group of organizations that will benefit from having these well qualified, well trained and well supported employees on staff. The first to sign on is Hebrew Senior Life in Boston which employs 2,300 workers in such areas as food service, healthcare, administration and environmental services.

At the end of the day, as productive members of the community’s workforce, Transitions participants will be positioned for success as productive contributors to both the Jewish and larger communities.

Best Buddies Jobs, Miami, Florida

Best Buddies logo

The low level of integrated employment for young Jewish adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Miami, Florida mirrors the national trend. In fact, studies show only 12.5 percent of the state’s young adults with a cognitive disability are employed. To enter the workplace successfully, most will need support in developing work skills, job placement and transportation. Best Buddies is designed to create these opportunities and, thanks to a new grant from the Foundation, will now be able to hire an employment consultant to partner with the University of Miami Center for Autism and Related Disabilities and other community-based organizations to provide both the training and the opportunities needed. The young Jewish adults who will now be able to work in integrated settings throughout the community will gain a new sense of self-esteem as well as reduce their dependence on government assistance.