The Mayor’s Committee for Employment of Individuals With Disabilities is made up of individuals who are business leaders, city employees, teachers, advisors, job developers and business owners who employ individuals with disabilities in their businesses. The committee’s goal is to be a referral resource and assist businesses in the Santa Clarita Valley to help educate, support and fill their hiring needs with qualified people with disabilities.

Sometimes a story of what success looks like can be a great educational resource. Jennifer Zimmerman, Mayor’s Committee Co-Chair and Job Developer with Pleasantview Industries, has been involved in many successful placements in the Santa Clarita community for the past 13 years. Here is just one example of how a person not only obtained employment but so much more.

Tim had never had a job. Pleasantview connected him with an employer who had a position open. The employer saw hiring Tim as a good business opportunity, and Tim got his first job. Pleasantview provided job coaching to Tim as well as on-the-job support to the employer. As with all Pleasantview clients, the job coach assisted Tim from his first day. (Job coach services are offered at no cost to the employer.) Each month as Tim became more proficient in his tasks, the job coach decreased the time spent with him helping him to become more independent on the job.

Tim’s new job worked out amazingly well. He always arrived on time, showed up every day, and was a hard worker. His employer gave him excellent reviews as he had 100% attendance, worked with his co-workers in a professional manner, was able to complete assignments as part of a team or individually, always was in a positive mood and had no work accidents.

Tim stayed on the job for two years, until he was offered the opportunity to enroll in a trade school program. After completing the program, he was able to obtain a job using his new skills at a higher pay rate than the minimum wage.

Tim reported to Jennifer Zimmerman that the reason why he was able to try this new program was because of the confidence he gained in himself with the work he completed at his first job. He was proud of his work, both as an individual and as part of the team. Tim’s first job helped him develop skills and abilities to take on a new and challenging step in gaining independence for himself. He also commented that although the schooling was intense at his new program, he had confidence in himself and his ability to succeed.

Employers are looking for hard working, dedicated, honest, on-time employees who are going to help their business thrive. Most people have started their first job not knowing how to work but soon learning once they start. People with disabilities are the same. When given the opportunity to begin working, a person with a disability can be a valuable employee as well as contribute to the bottom line of the company. Many employers don’t realize that hiring a person with a disability can be a great business decision. Santa Clarita Valley is home to many talented, committed people with disabilities that are waiting and wanting to work. This is our community’s most untapped resource for employment needs.

The Mayor’s Committee is available to meet with businesses that would like to get a better understanding of hiring people with disabilities. We also offer employers the resources needed to hire employees with disabilities and we support them in successful and long-term placements. We encourage businesses to contact us for information on different types of services and programs available in promoting employment opportunities for people with disabilities in our Santa Clarita Valley.