In support of National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month the Mayor of White Plains, Tom Roach, invited the trainees to tour city hall and visit various city offices.
The goal of our visit was to give our participants a view into the scope of work in an office setting since most have not had that opportunity. It was definitely not to apply for a job at city hall.
The process of job exploration is still confusing to our trainees. After learning about the upcoming tour, Maki, Administrative Assistant at Girl AGain and former Yes She Can Trainee, was concerned. “I love my job at Yes She Can. I don’t want to leave it to work at City Hall.”
Coach Laura assured her that our goal was a networking opportunity and a chance to see other employment opportunities. I explained that learning about options and possibilities can help you make decisions that are right for you.
On October 17th, we walked to City Hall. Our trainees had a wonderful experience because the Mayor and his staff were so welcoming. Trainees came prepared with questions about proper attire for employees, types of jobs that are performed at city hall, and training and education needed to work in various positions.
While in the City Clerk’s office, Izzie, a trainee at Yes She Can, asked Jill Iannetta, City Clerk. “What is it like to work for Mayor Roach?”
Ms. Iannetta replied, “I’m proud to work for a city that is so supportive and really wants to give back to the community.” She also stated that everyone works well together as a team.
Izzie, who also works at Sephora, beamed with pride as she said, “Me too!! I like working in Sephora because I feel like I am part of a team.”
After the tour, we debriefed about our experience. We discussed the professional aspects we learned and also talked about any anxieties our trainees had and how they were alleviated. We described various coping strategies that were used and how they could be applied in future situations. It is real-life experiences like these that help to prepare these young women for jobs in our community.
REQUEST: Help us do this again!
Can you provide our trainees with a similar experience?
- Do you know a business based in Westchester County that would welcome 7-8 young women to tour their facility and talk with staff?
- Would you consider having one trainee shadow an employee for a few hours?
These types of experiences are invaluable to the Yes She Can trainees. They also provide a significant reward to the employees of the business. It provides employers the opportunity to promote acceptance of diversity in the workplace; which, in my opinion, should not be only in October during National Disability Awareness Month, but actually EVERY MONTH – because disability is part of the equity equation.
Please contact me, Robin Davies-Small, Executive Director, email@example.com to discuss how you can help our trainees learn more about the workplace and jobs.