Whenever there is mainstream encouragement and measurable progress in employment of individuals with disabilities the Mayor’s Committee is happy to share that news.

For example, recently we heard from CBS News that “A New Jersey man with cerebral palsy broke barriers to not only graduate from Villanova University but also find work as a paid journalist. Now, 28-year-old Frankie Kineavy, Jr. wants to break into the film industry as a screenwriter and filmmaker.”

Another example of encouraging news, from People Magazine online, informs us that “Texas A&M University is opening the door to higher education for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities — making history as the first program of its kind in the state.”

A third example that comes from AP tells us about a woman who was diagnosed with autism at age three. Doctors thought she may never be able to work a minimum wage job or live on her own. She graduated from the University of Miami School of Law and passed the Florida Bar.

Finally, just to show us how far we have come in inspiration, encouragement and real progress, we have a Bank of America TV Commercial; a college clip showing a woman with Down Syndrome graduating like anyone else.

Mayor’s Committee member Kathleen Secchi, who is a Coordinator at the SCV Family Focus Resource Center, offered her observations as follows: “More post-secondary options are becoming available as we move away from limiting what individuals with disabilities can reach for. Everyone has dreams and when you have the drive to accomplish them, the opportunities should be available to pursue them.”

Ms. Secchi pointed out that here in SCV and in surrounding areas of North Los Angeles County there are a variety of programs serving a wide range of student needs. Many of these college and training programs are funded by the Regional Center and Department of Rehabilitation. Below is a list of some of those programs.

College to Career – NEXUS (Tierra Del Sol-Vendor) Support provided in typical college classes at a number of community colleges and California State University Northridge (CSUN). https://www.tierradelsol.org/college-to-careers/

CNC Machining Program at College of the Canyons – https://www.canyons.edu/academics/manufacturing/program/machining-cnc-cert.php

Ready to work – Carousel Ranch. Job training in several areas; office, retail, food service, cashier and more. Preparation to work in the community.

Yes I Can Unity – Training for jobs in the entertainment and music industry..

Reel People – A program offering training for jobs in the movie industry.

College Certificate Programs in early childhood education, culinary, construction, hospitality and the list goes on.

Career Skills Classes – non- credit free short term classes. Providing soft skills, time management, critical thinking and problem solving, negotiation, personality styles and so forth.

The purpose of the Mayor’s Committee is to promote information that will affect public attitudes regarding all people with disabilities. Our goals are to increase the number of people with disabilities in the local workforce, to help employers have the resources needed to hire employees with disabilities, and to support employers and employees in successful, long-term job placement.

We encourage employers to contact the Committee via email at scvmcemploy@gmail.com or by phone at (661) 705-7595.