DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — For 66 years, United Rehabilitation Services (URS) has served the disabled community. It has also spent many years training its participants for the workforce, and over the last few years, those workers have been essential.
Many URS partners say these workers are critical to their operations and transform their culture.
Doing dishes is a chore most of us dread. It is a job, however, that Kyle Strines embraces.
Kyle plays an important role at Springfield Regional Medical Center. And the medical center plays an important role for Kyle.
“The program has helped me to be a better example for others and to learn how to enroll in good influence on other teammates,” Kyle Strines said.
Those who work with Kyle describe how important he is, calling him an infectious influence that impacts the entire workplace culture. Kyle is only one example of what is happening at URS.
This organization is providing skills and opportunities for the disabled community and filling a vital need in the workforce at the same time.
“Staffing crisis is at an all-time high,” said Jeremy Nelson, an employment service manager at URS. “We think it’s really cool that these employers take an interest in hiring people with disabilities and doing something different than they may have done normally.”
The journey for Kyle and his brother Kalib at URS started when they were 15. They began by participating in the Summer Youth Career Exploration program for a couple of summers. Then they continued in the Summer Youth Work Experience program before graduating to Job Development Services and landing their own jobs – making their own money. The URS academy is training willing, productive and vital members of the workforce.
“It has a wonderful component of developing soft-skills, of following instructions and getting along with your supervisor and co-workers and really understanding what is about to be a good worker,” Explained Dennis Grant, CEO at URS.
URS’s Vocational Training Programs give its participants opportunities to gain experience working, being part of a team and developing a personal sense of value.
The Boonshoft Museum of discovery is one of URS’s many partners. In this partnership, members gain experience doing everything from painting fences outside to cleaning and sanitizing inside. Their skill sets are growing, and the Boonshoft is making sure these workers who are excited to get a job are ready.
“We do a mock interview with the participants, so they get the experience of actually doing a job interview in the real world,” explained Ronald Puterbaugh, facilities director at the Boonshoft Museum.
Morgan Whiting, a URS employment specialist said, “The big thing that I hope each individual takes away is that they can be independent, and they have the confidence in themselves to do so.”
Looking for a way to get involved? Join us for our annual URS telethon on Sunday, Dec. 4 on 2 NEWS. From noon until 2 p.m. on that Sunday, you can meet amazing people overcoming great odds.