The LaunchAbility Academy
located at UT Southwestern Medical Center and BlueCross BlueShield of Texas
The LaunchAbility Academy is a collaborative effort with Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) and large, proactive employers designed to train adults with disabilities for jobs in growing companies with career opportunities. UT Southwestern Medical Center led the way in 2011, and in 2012, BlueCross BlueShield of Texas became our second training site. The training includes on-the-job training as well as extensive curriculum on both general employability skills and unique aspects of working in highly-regulated industries.
2012 Training Program
Clients will participate in one 5-week session in one identified department for that particular session. However, training sessions throughout the year will be located in a variety of departments. Expectations will change in accordance with the department and job identified for each session.
- Training sessions will include task specific training as well as workplace skills and general employability instruction.
- Candidates need a great attitude. Be professional, handle stressful situations and able to multi-task. Candidates must have patience, interact well with people, and able to follow instructions accurately.
- Training sessions meet Monday – Friday. The 1st two weeks trainees work 30 hours per week (generally 7:30 a.m. -1:30). The 2nd three weeks are 40 hours a week, generally 7:30 a.m. – 3:30. (180 hours total.) Trainees earn $7.25 / hr while in training and will receive uniforms if required by the job.
A job is not guaranteed at the company hosting the training program; however, more than half of the trainees have been hired by the hosting company. LaunchAbility is committed to placing graduates in a comparable job, and, for first year 100% of the eligible graduates have been hired within 6 months.
Trainees will undergo Five Weeks of Training in One of the following Occupations:
- Food Service
- Customer Service
- Environmental Services
- Clerical / office – including Health Information, HR, Financial Services, etc
- Patient support / escort
- Mail Processing
- Candidates’ DARS Counselors Refer candidates
- LaunchAbility schedules interview/assessment date & time
- LaunchAbility Screens & Selects Candidates
- Status Letters Mailed: (Acceptance, Potential or Withdrawal letters)
- Acceptance: Candidate is provided with training start date
- Potential: Candidate is a good candidate for future training session
- Withdrawal: Candidate is not a good match for The Academy Training program
- If accepted to the UT Southwestern program, trainees must be willing and able to get a TB screen (or provide documentation of screen within last year) and have had or start series of HepB vaccine. All accepted candidates to either program must attend a half-day staffing orientation in advance of training session, must have a clean background (no felonies) and pass a drug screen
- Trainees receive a certificate upon completion and graduate
- If a job is not available at the host company, LaunchAbility will support job search for all graduates and will work to place graduates into compatible employment suitable to trained occupation
- LaunchAbility provides coaching and follow-up
Your DARS counselor will use the following checklist to help determine if the Academy program might be a good fit.
To help children and adults with developmental disabilities achieve their maximum potential and lead fulfilling lives within our community.
Our name is new, but we have served the community for nearly 50 years, enabling clients to become more self-sufficient.
We invite you to join us as we launch into a new era of inspiring hope, confidence, and independence for adults and children with disabilities.