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09/11/2018

Wolf Administration Officials Highlight Pre-Employment Transition Services for Students with Autism in Montgomery County

Merion Station, PA – Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jerry Oleksiak and acting Executive Director for the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) Ryan Hyde visited the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support at Saint Joseph’s University (The Kinney Center) to highlight transition opportunities for students with autism in Montgomery County.  

“The Kinney Center, located on the campus of my alma mater Saint Joseph’s University, recently partnered with OVR to provide transition services, including pre-employment transition services, for high school students with disabilities,” said Secretary Oleksiak.  “Helping job seekers obtain good-paying, family-sustaining jobs is a top priority of the Wolf Administration.  L&I is proud to facilitate the transition from high school to secondary education, or meaningful employment, for students with disabilities.”
 
Vocational rehabilitation services are provided by OVR to help persons with disabilities prepare for, obtain, or maintain employment. Under the Wolf Administration initiatives to promote 21st century jobs and skills in Pennsylvania, and help workers get and retain good, family sustaining jobs, OVR plays a vital role in ensuring individuals with barriers to employment can access the same trainings and workforce opportunities as their peers.
 
Wolf administration officials toured The Kinney Center including training facilities used to prepare 160 undergraduates to work in the field of autism, program rooms supporting more than 900 families affected by autism, counseling center serving 31 individuals on the spectrum attending Saint Joseph's University, and hydroponic gardens providing farm-to-table meals for transitional and adult clients. The department recently entered into a provider agreement with The Kinney Center for pre-employment transition services to assist students between ages 14 to 21 as they transition from an educational to an employment setting after school is finished.
 
"The Kinney Center sees our new partnership with OVR as an opportunity to expand our impact in the transitional community, as well as a new and exciting training opportunity for our 160 Saint Joseph's University undergraduates studying to work in the field of autism," said Arianna Esposito, MBA, BCBA, LBA, Associate Director of Adult and Transition Programs, The Kinney Center at Saint Joseph’s University.
 
 
Saint Joseph’s University (SJU) was founded in 1851 in the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence and is a top-ranked Catholic University that provides a rigorous, student-centered education. With a total enrollment of 8,500 undergraduate and graduate students, SJU offers a wide array of academic programs designed so that each graduate enters the world with a competitive résumé and global perspective.
 
Additional information is available on the L&I website at www.dli.pa.gov or by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
 
MEDIA CONTACTS: Theresa Elliott or Penny Ickes, 717-787-7530 or dlipress@pa.gov
                                                                       
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