Message from the Superintendent
Employment First Initiative
The Muskingum County Board of Developmental Disabilities has approved an Employment First Initiative for Starlight Programs. Our local effort is a part of a statewide and even nationwide effort to change the way programs plan, fund and implement community employment. It makes working in the community the preferred outcome for persons of working age with developmental disabilities. On March 19, 2012, Governor John Kasich signed an Executive Order which established the statewide initiative including a taskforce of state level agencies to coordinate the efforts of their departments to ensure that resources were available.
Locally, the Employment First Initiative Taskforce was set up to reflect the entire scope of Starlight Programs from Early Intervention through Adult Services. This broad-based approach was designed to include and engage families and persons with developmental disabilities at all ages to create a culture change of expectations for all adults. Current members of the taskforce include: Eileen Liles (Early Intervention), Sarah Paul (Pre-School), Barb Reinbeau, Brenda Allen (School Age), Cindy Brenning (School), David Newton, Missy Hartley, Tim Duff, Kelly Jackson (Adult Services), Joel Linnabary (SSA), Leadership Team (Administration), Toby Rogovin (MSI Board Member), Cathy Martin (169 Board Member), Cody Brooks (People with Disabilities), Diana White (Family Members), David Branch (Public Schools), Ron Bucci (General Graphics-Current Business Partner), Howard Stewart (SEAT). The committee will be expanding its membership to include other family members, persons with disabilities and business partners to help plan future community employment efforts in Muskingum County.
The County Board & Taskforce have adopted the following Purpose, Vision & Value Statements for this initiative.
Purpose: To identify and address barriers to employment for people with developmental disabilities.
Vision Statement: It is the vision of the Employment First Taskforce that everyone has the opportunity to work in the community.
Value Statements: Opportunity for choice people with developmental disabilities is paramount; Working in the community creates a positive culture for people with developmental disabilities; Collaboration and partnerships are essential parts of the success of creating job opportunities in the community; Creating job opportunities in the community is an effective and efficient use of community resources; Employment of people with developmental disabilities adds diversity to the community's workforce.
Over the next few months the Taskforce will be reviewing requirements of the Executive Order and making recommendations to the County Board to move our Employment First Initiative forward.
John E. Hill