Meaningful employment is a critical social determinant of health. Unfortunately, many young people with disabilities cannot find work, often due to implicit bias and societal barriers.
That’s a big reason why Amerigroup has been a longtime sponsor of the “United We Work” Disability Mentoring Day in Lubbock.
Disability Mentoring Day enables students with special needs to explore different career options after high school, helping prepare them to enter the workforce. Working with the Region 17 Education Services Center and Texas Workforce Solutions, we’ve touched the lives of more than 2,000 students with hands-on experiences in the workplace and up-close looks at potential career paths.
More than 152 students from 5 Texas school districts participated in this year’s event, which was held on Feb. 9. The day featured 30 job sites in the Lubbock area, including a local pizza shop, grocery stores, and a TV news station
This wide range of jobs and employers helps show students the diversity of career options open to them. It often fuels ideas and aspirations they might never have considered.
Disability Mentoring Day also helps teach students how to communicate effectively with future employers at each job site. Through “United We Work,” students participated in mock job interviews and got feedback on how to be successful in real-life ones.
In addition to working with students, Amerigroup and partner organizations led sessions with prospective employers on the benefits of hiring workers with disabilities. These sessions included information about the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires employers to accommodate disabled employees.
“Part of our mission at Amerigroup is to reinvent healthcare and pioneer creative solutions that meet the needs of members, families and entire communities,” said Greg Thompson, President of Amerigroup Texas. “For hundreds of thousands of working-age Texans with disabilities, reinventing healthcare means helping them find work. That’s why we support Disability Mentoring Day, and it’s why we love it.”