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New jobs program benefits disabled at KSU at Trumbull

CHAMPION — Kent State University at Trumbull will become home to a Siffrin Academy to help people with disabilities transition from high school to jobs or advanced education programs.

Dan Palmer, interim dean and chief administrative officer at Kent State Trumbull, and Brad Vincent, Siffrin chief executive officer, recently signed a formal agreement to use a classroom and office on campus.

“This is a big win for the Mahoning Valley and especially for people with disabilities. They will now have a chance and a choice,” Vincent said.

Siffrin Academy at Kent State Trumbull, which will be overseen by David Howe, Siffrin’s regional director, offers a unique opportunity for young adults with disabilities, ages 18 through 32, who are transitioning into life after high school as well as those on a path to employment, its officials said.

Integrated into the university culture, Siffrin Academy is an education blend of classroom study and field experience designed to help participants reinforce the skills and abilities they learned throughout their education career. Training is designed to provide the proficiencies and mechanisms essential for success in the community and the workforce.

“We are always looking for ways to leverage our resources to make an impact in the community,” Palmer said.

Siffrin signed a similar agreement with KSU at Stark last fall. The first Siffrin Academy originated in Austintown. It offers post-secondary education for people transitioning into life after high school or on a path to employment.

Initially, the academy will have eight to 10 participants.

Vincent expects the program will expand. Siffrin expects to hire three people who will work with academy members.

It also is possible that some Siffrin Academy participants could become Kent State Trumbull students as they complete the program.

Vincent said collaborating with Kent State Trumbull will help Siffrin Academy students break down the barriers sometimes faced by people with disabilities. The goal is to help students who want to be in the community, he said.

The academy is now taking inquiries and requests on its website at www.siffrin.org/contact or by phone, 330-799-8932.

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