Horizon Project Inc. Develops New Curriculum for Students and Jobseekers


With Support from a Workforce Ready Capacity-Building Grant

This week’s Workforce Ready Grant Round 1 spotlight features Horizon Project Inc. (HPI), which provides residential, employment, and community living supports for adults experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in Umatilla County.

Responding to growing community needs for workforce development services, HPI is increasing capacity at its Steps to Empowerment Program (STEP) Center in Hermiston. A Workforce Ready Capacity-Building Grant has helped HPI expand the center through its Ready Workforce Initiative, which involves hiring additional staff, expanding the program, and diversifying employer partners.

This initiative was designed to offer a new person-centered curriculum, enabling close work with youth transitioning from Hermiston High School and enhanced marketing to the Hispanic community throughout Umatilla County. In the future, the initiative will include internship programs through local employers, with a focus on healthcare and manufacturing.

Bringing together community members and staff proved crucial to developing the Ready Workforce Initiative. HPI’s diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant and curriculum consultant partnered with stakeholders from Hermiston High School, Blue Mountain Community College, Good Shepherd Health Care System, and parents of adults living with I/DD to develop culturally responsive outreach strategies and expand its network of accessible, individualized education, training, and internship opportunities. The result? HPI now has a strong curriculum, portions of which can be accessed in Spanish, that can be easily tailored for participants and their employers alike.

Terri Silvis, CEO of HPI, comments: “I am incredibly proud of how community partners came together to work with our program leaders to create an implementation plan that will result in enhanced offerings that are impactful and relevant to the individuals we support. Lisandra Sepulveda, chief program officer, and Eilleen Moore, STEP Center director, provided the hands-on leadership needed to complete a thoughtful planning process, and our work continues with focus and intentionality.”

Learn more at: https://horizonprojectinc.org/

Story developed in collaboration with HPI. Pictured above: HPI participant Charles Page works with Eilleen Moore, HPI’s STEP Center director.

About Author

Future Ready Oregon Communications Specialist with Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission.

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