In Chattanooga alone, there are over 10,000 working-age individuals who live with disabilities. We are proud to aide this population in growing skills, expanding independence, and in their journey to greater self-sufficiency.
This population is greatly underutilized in the job market, and includes groups like those who are physically and intellectually disabled, teen parents, youth transitioning out of foster care and even young returning veterans. As a quick example, veterans between the ages of 25-34 in Chattanooga have an unemployment rate of 17.4%, as opposed to the nationwide average of 5.5%. Children receiving disability benefits from Social Security Administration that go on to receiving benefits as an adult are 60% more likely to remain on disability and not working at a level of self-sufficiency. Part of this trend is due to the lack of available trainings for people with disabilities. Our goal is to provide a training program for this population while increasing access to healthy local food for Chattanooga.
Employees with disabilities and those coming from at-risk populations have been shown to be valuable assets to employers - with lower absentee rates, fewer job turnovers, and better jobperformance ratings – if they have appropriate training and supports in place.
Nearly 200,000 Tennesseans with intellectual disabilities are unemployed as of 2014. The lack of training options for these individuals greatly contribute to their unemployment rate. We strive to help with developing work skills that are valuable for potential employers.
We offer support through our Vocational Training Program, Cafe F'Rall, Food Justice, Art & Culture Events, and with various Community Initiatives. Continue scrolling down to find out about our Vocational Training program.
Our mission is to bring a higher quality of life by engaging, empowering, and employing people with disabilities. Growing jobs, Growing skills, Growing food.
- Vocational Evaluation - interview and assessments that address an individual's employment and educational history, skills set, vocational desires, and plan of action.
- Job Training - 6 week "internship" where an individual learns; the 16 "Steps to Success", food service skills, aquaponics & sustainable farming
- Job Placement - learning the process of a proper job application, resume writing, mock interview skills, and then an active job search.
- Community Worksites - we partner with local restaurants and farms to provide; 1) additional training sites for our job trainees, 2) mock interview practice, and 3) potential future employees that have been thoroughly vetted.
Our first trainee was Jimmy. Below is a quote from Jimmy's mother in regards to his training.