The first six graduates of the local WiN program celebrated their hard work in real-world settings with an end of the year ceremony on Monday at Utica College.
WiN stands for Work Internship Network, and it’s a pilot program between the Kelberman Center and Utica College. The partnership is designed to expose young people with autism and other developmental disabilities to real-life work situations.
The kids experienced a 40-week internship rotation that helped them develop work readiness skills to prepare them for the real world of working.
“What really sets this program apart from virtually everything else in upstate New York is that our students, not only do they participate in a college campus, but they do real work every day,” said Dr. Robert Myers, executive director of the Kelberman Center. “At the end of their one-year internship program, they have multiple managers who can serve as references, who can articulate exactly the kinds of work that they've done.”
Some of the graduates already have job opportunities lined up, including one graduate who has already landed a full-time job at Utica College.