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PITTSBURGH, February 25, 2015 – Applications are now being accepted for Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s Supported Internship program for college students with autism. The program offers opportunities for summer internships, along with individualized support from an internship liaison. The program is coordinated through Goodwill’s PASSAGES program, which provides autism support services to help individuals achieve gainful employment. Friday, March 20, 2015 is the deadline to apply.
“College students with autism who need social or emotional support will find our PASSAGES Supported Internship program extremely valuable.” said Jamia Cinelli, Coordinator of Vocational Support Services at Goodwill. “The program is a critical enhancement to their college experience. We place participants in 12-week internships with businesses and community organizations where they can learn new skills to help them smoothly transition to their future careers.”
During the internship period, students will participate in weekly “Lunch & Learn” sessions. Discussion topics aimed at developing professional skills include:
- mechanics of social interaction,
- alternative ways of expression and behavior,
- self and time-management skills, along with self-advocacy skills,
- creating resumes, interview skills, and mock interviews,
- adapting to organizational demands hiring requirements and work culture,
- career exploration, job searching, getting a job and keeping a job.
Participation in the Supported Internship program will also assist students in their efforts to build a professional network and increase their overall professional self-confidence.
The program is ideal for college sophomores, juniors or seniors, and students who have graduated from college within the past year are also eligible.
About Goodwill SWPA
Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania is a diversified human service agency that is supported, in part, by its network of retail stores and other nonprofit businesses. It serves all of southwestern Pennsylvania and manages several affiliate units and special-purpose entities, including Goodwill of Fayette County; Goodwill of North Central West Virginia; Goodwill Commercial Services, Inc.; and Goodwill Housing. Goodwill SWPA operates 31 retail stores and several other businesses to help fund programs and to provide job training and related services to help clients overcome various barriers to employment. It has over 1,100 employees and in 2014 provided services to over 53,000 individuals.