Natick, Framingham, MA, August 22, 2018 — Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Learning Center has formed a vocational partnership with Uno Pizzeria and Grill in Framingham.
The new partnership, one of 10 business agreements with RCS Learning Center, gives the students an opportunity to work in real-life employment environments through the school’s “Let’s Get to Work” vocational program.
A Natick-based school for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, RCS Learning Center depends on partnerships with companies like Uno Pizzeria and Grill for the success of its vocational program. The goal, to put students to work and combat the unfortunate national statistic of 85% of adults with ASD being unemployed. Without these partnerships, the students would be at a higher risk to become part of the alarming national statistic.
RCS Learning Center Vocational Director Jackie Adams said the partnerships are paramount to the students’ success once they age-out of the program at 22 years old. “Thanks to Uno Pizzeria and Grill and other businesses who put their faith in our program, our students will be prepared to work in the real world upon completion of their RCS Learning Center program,” said Adams. “These school-to-business partnerships are invaluable to our students who look forward to some independence as young adults.”
With the newly formed partnership, one student currently works three days a week at the restaurant. RCS Learning Center is looking forward to continuing to grow this partnership and allowing more students to access this opportunity. In addition, students collect weekly pizza orders placed at Uno Pizzeria and Grill on Fridays to sell in the school store. Weekly pizza orders also support the non-profit school through Uno Pizzeria and Grill generous ‘Dough Raiser’ program.
“We are thrilled to have students from Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Learning Center as part of our restaurant team,” said Andy Sklar, General Manager of Uno Pizzeria and Grill, Framingham. “Having the RCS Learning Center students volunteer with us has been such an amazing, rewarding time and we are very grateful to offer the children an opportunity to gain real-world experience they will need to be successful adults.” Adding, “As partners combating the alarming unemployment statistic of individuals with Autism and supporting children with ASD, it is an honor and a privilege to work with RCS’s Vocational Program, bringing awareness to the community and opening doors for those with Autism and other disabilities to work.”
Recently, the CDC released the newest prevalence of Autism to 1 in 59, increasing the rate from prior years reported. The increased rate of children with Autism, coupled with the known shortage in high quality programs supporting children with Autism creates a gap in critical services. RCS Learning Center, working with students from 26 communities, created the progressive vocational program that trains them to thrive outside the walls of the school and their homes by helping them become self-sustaining citizens of their communities. When students leave the “Let’s Get to Work” program, they are armed with valuable experience and ready to work in the career path of their choice based on their interests, making these partnerships invaluable to the school, students and community.
About Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Learning Center
Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Learning Center is a leading not-for-profit, chapter 766 approved private special educational school that provides the highest quality individualized behavioral and educational services to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disabilities. For over a decade RCS Learning Center has exceeded the standards for teaching students with Autism through the use of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) treatment methodology with an emphasis on Verbal Behavioral Model for teaching communication and language skills. Individualized curriculum, programming, and 1:1 support is tailored to meet the needs of each student that includes specialized vocational program for students 14 years and older. Our highly respected leaders in the field of ABA conduct cutting edge research, present at national and local conferences and provide intensive training for individuals in the field of Behavioral Analytics and ABA. RCS Learning Center is based in Natick, MA and is a 501c3b non-profit. More information is available at www.rcslearning.org