Work Experience Training Programs for the Visually Impaired in Buffalo & WNY
Your company is always trying to innovate and grow, to take root in the community, and have an even greater connection with the customers you serve. And at the core of it, what makes your organization successful is the people you employ.
Creating an inclusive workforce made from people of diverse abilities is a powerful tool. Diversity breeds innovation; it inspires loyalty among your customer base; it benefits your bottom line. If you’re looking to develop an accessible workforce team and boost your productivity through the power of people, VIA can help.
Our Work Experience Training (WET) program gives your organization the opportunity to bring on entry level employees at no cost to you. In today’s tough labor market – with a talent shortage that doesn’t look to be ending anytime soon – that’s a big win for your company. And don’t forget, extending a hand to a non-traditional candidate will boost your company’s reputation and brand in the community.
What is the Work Experience Training (WET) Program?
VIA’s Work Experience Training program arranges internships for visually impaired individuals throughout Western New York. We work directly with the visually impaired to help them develop skills and prepare for competitive employment in a career that suits their interests, abilities, and visual accommodations. The VIA team works with everyone from recent high school graduates looking to enter the workforce for the first time, to those who have been out of the workforce for an extended period and are ready to re-enter it.
Our training program covers:
- Understanding and executing job tasks and requirements
- Appreciating and demonstrating soft skills necessary in the workplace, like communication, problem solving, critical thinking, and punctuality
- Resume building
- Organizational skills
- Self-advocacy in the workplace
Becoming part of VIA’s work experience training program means you’ll be matched with entry level participants who have the skills, education, and experience necessary to make your organization successful. And because there is no cost to you, it’s a win-win.
Benefits of the Work Experience Training (WET) Program
The benefits of having a workforce that includes differently abled people have been well-documented. Increased profit margins, better innovation, reduced turnover, higher employee motivation/loyalty, federal and state tax incentives… the list goes on. What gains can you expect to see with VIA’s WET program?
VIA pays the wages of the employees through the WET program – you don’t pay anything to employ them. The cost savings of becoming a community partner with VIA can be significant. . Plus, VIA also offers:
- 100% worker’s compensation
- Certificate of Liability Insurance
- Other support and accommodations as needed
Because we cover worker’s compensation and liability insurance, hiring an employee through the WET program is a no-risk venture for your company.
We provide you with talented entry-level employees with a proven work ethic and valuable skills gained from prior employment, education, and training. You don’t have to worry about the time-consuming and costly components of traditional hiring – recruiting, sourcing, screening resumes, vetting, etc. – because we take the time to match the right person with your company based on your needs.
VIA will be there every step of the way as you bring on your new employee. VIA staff provides support services for employees and employers alike, including onboarding help, job coaching, continued career guidance, and feedback. If you need to make any accommodation for your visually impaired employee, you’re not on your own. We’ll stick with you at every stage to provide any adaptations and modifications necessary to make the match a success.
The Greater Good
Remember: As many benefits as there are for your business and your bottom line, you’re also doing the right thing. There are members of our community dealing with visual impairment or losing their vision – and they may be embarrassed or fearful about losing their jobs and not being able to regain employment. By partnering with VIA and our work experience training program, you’re contributing to the greater good and providing crucial opportunities to those who might not otherwise have them. And that’s something every member of your team can feel good about.
How To Learn More About Work Experience Training (WET)
Are you interested in learning more about the work experience training program and how your organization can partner with VIA to make a difference for the visually impaired? Contact our Workforce Development team to speak with a member of our staff. We look forward to hearing from you!
About VIA: Vision Loss Rehabilitation & Workforce Development in WNY
Visually Impaired Advancement: VIA has been providing vision loss rehabilitation services to Western New York’s communities for more than 100 years. We provide vocational counseling, training, and employment services for New Yorkers who are legally blind or visually impaired and are seeking to enter the workforce. Our goal is to maximize our patients’ functional vision to improve their safety, independence, and quality of life.
From our offices and Low Vision Clinic in Buffalo, NY, we offer vision loss rehabilitation, tools, education, job training, and community support in order to help individuals of any age who are experiencing vision loss to live and work independently. We have two clinic locations:
1170 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14209
1491 Sheridan Drive, Suite 600
Tonawanda, NY 14217
Our clinic hours are Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Make an appointment at either of our locations by calling us at (716) 888-4556.