The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 88 American children is on the autism spectrum. This number represents a ten-fold increase in 40 years with research showing that improved diagnosis is only partly the reason for such staggering numbers. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, approximately 80% of Americans experiencing disability are unemployed while roughly 8% of able-bodied people are currently jobless.
It is fair to say then that if these trends continue, our country will see an alarming and unprecedented number of people with disabilities experiencing unemployment in the next decade. It is time for a paradigm shift in our approach to putting people with disabilities to work.
Hope Farms Project is one of a growing number of organizations in Colorado preparing people with disabilities to work. But few organizations focus on careers in agriculture despite the fact that, according to the Colorado Rural Development Council, only ten out of 64 counties in Colorado are designated as urban. At Hope Farms Project, we give people the training they need to be gainfully employed in urban or rural areas which allows them to stay in their communities of choice and be productive citizens.
Get ready to work! A farm is the perfect place to learn how to work. Expand the skill set you offer employers by learning fundamental skills related to animal care, landscaping or horticultural jobs and improve critical social skills that help secure work in your area of interest.
Explore your field of interest and work readiness in our situational assessment which is individualized and involves clarifying career goals, researching job descriptions and requirements and getting hand-on experience through job shadowing or practice in the field.
Our job seeking skills curriculum leads participants through the many steps of a job search from writing a resume and filling out applications to preparing for an interview to developing the professionalism needed to maintain employment. Job coaching is available.
Hope Farms is a vendor for the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.