GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) –Empower U is a transition program that is affiliated with the Kent Intermediate School District, which provides real world experience for young adults ages 18-26 with developmental disabilities. This program provides instruction and real-world opportunities to support the growth of employment and independent living skills in young adults. This program gives young adults the confidence and empowerment to know that they can be successful in the workforce. One of the partners that Empower U’s program works with is Meijer.
Meijer has loved having these young adults work alongside their employees. They have set up a classroom in the back of the store where participants in Empower U receive specialized instruction and then they get to work for Meijer. These students get to stock shelves, collect shopping carts, and greet customers to name a few of their daily tasks. Meijer customers and team members alike have enjoyed having these young adults at their store and they have made quite the impact throughout the entire store.
Empower U focusses on 4 major domains when it comes to helping these young adults make the transition into adult life.
1. Adult Daily living
2. Education and training
3. Community involvement
4. Recreation and Leisure
Empower U’s goal is by the end of the program is to instill the skills that they worked on by building confidence through real world job experience to help them get a job. Having the tools, support, and knowledge that they can complete the tasks of a job helps them move forward. Meijer helps them build their skills as well as focus on what they need to improve on.