Last month we interviewed Kathy from Arizona Helping Hands for our first “The Learning Journey Cares” segment.
This month I had the opportunity to interview Toby Fox who is the Director of Development for STARS (Scottsdale Training and Rehabilitation Services).
Can you describe what STARS does and how they help the local community?
The mission of STARS is to improve the lives of individuals with developmental and cognitive disabilities. Our vision is to be the leader in creating quality opportunities for life-long empowerment and success. Throughout our 41-year history, STARS has committed itself to providing an array of high-quality, integrated services to adults with disabilities in the metro-Phoenix area in three primary program areas: Day Programs, Vocational & Employment Services, and Transition Services. These programs enable STARS to create a lifetime support system for our participants and their families. STARS serves 200 individuals daily and programming is availible at two Scottsdale locations: the Osborn Campus (7507 E. Osborn Rd.) and at the Cholla Special Needs Community Campus (11130 E. Cholla St.).
What are the benefits for a local company to work with STARS?
When local companies partner with STARS they are providing adults with intellectual disabilities a supportive environment for personal learning and growth that ensures life-long employment, skills-development and success in a safe, supportive and nurturing environment. Our participants’ posses an array of skills and attributes that are valuable in today’s workforce, but they often need additional assistance to ensure long-term success. The STARS’ program allows people with disabilities to receive the training and personalized attention they need to build their skill sets while also earning compensation. As Arizona transitions into an employment-first state, STARS has recognized a need to develop unique opportunities for participants to gain employment skills. Simply put, the Greater Phoenix community’s economic success will be contingent upon having a skilled labor pool that is trained and ready to meet existing and future workforce needs.
Companies benefit through increased productivity, low turnover, the opportunity to expand into new markets, tax incentives, and the fact that customers are often looking to support businesses that make a difference in the lives of others. In addition to providing valuable employment opportunities for those with intellectual disabilities, our business partners assume a leadership role in educating their peers in the business, education and government sectors on how to successfully engage those with disabilities in the work force.
How long have you been working with The Learning Journey?
STARS has been working with The Learning Journey for about three months. We’ve been thrilled with this partnership and are looking forward to watching it continue to grow in the months ahead.