BOSTON, March 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Best Buddies International, a groundbreaking nonprofit founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver to establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), is excited to announce a partnership with Fundación MAPFRE and the launch of a Pre-Employment Training Program for participants with IDD ages 16 - 22 in Central Massachusetts.
Best Buddies currently offers a school-based inclusion program through over 2,000 chapters worldwide and an integrated employment program with over 400 placements in the United States. The partnership between both organizations will bridge the gap between these two programs and provide critical transition services in the form of pre-employment training (PET) to students with IDD. PET will serve both students still completing their schooling who require additional training to prepare for employment and those imminently transitioning out of the education system and into employment.
A classroom-based program will offer employment training and corporate mentorship to help develop students' career ambitions. For older students, the program will include a series of in-depth sessions over time to introduce work opportunities and build critical job skills. Together, these experiences will increase the likelihood of long-term successful employment for people with IDD.
"It is our hope that our new Pre-Employment Training Program will help ease the transition from school to work for students with IDD by bridging our Friendship and Jobs programs," said Sheri Dean, Manager-Transitions Program, Best Buddies Massachusetts. "The goal of this new program is to provide an additional resource to supplement the existing services being provided in the schools as part of their Special Education/Transition programs. The components of our Pre-Employment Training Program consist of self-advocacy, job exploration, work readiness and work-based learning opportunities."
"Pre-employment training provides needed assistance to prepare people as they transition to the workforce," said Alfredo Castelo, Chief Representative of Fundación MAPFRE in the U.S. "We are pleased to support the excellent work of Best Buddies International to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities secure jobs and maintain their independence."
ABOUT BEST BUDDIES INTERNATIONAL:
Best Buddies® is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant organization that has grown from one original chapter to nearly 2,900 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Today, Best Buddies' nine formal programs — Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies® , Jobs, Ambassadors, Promoters and Inclusive Living— engage participants in each of the 50 states and in 54 countries, positively impacting the lives of over 1.25 million people with and without disabilities around the world. In many cases, as a result of their involvement with Best Buddies, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities secure rewarding jobs, live on their own, become inspirational leaders, and make lifelong friendships. For more information, please visit www.bestbuddies.org, facebook.com/bestbuddies or twitter.com/bestbuddies.
ABOUT FUNDACIÓN MAPFRE:
Fundación MAPFRE is recognized as a leading global foundation for our commitment to people's well-being and social progress. Our mission, as a nonprofit institution created by MAPFRE, is to contribute to improving people's quality of life and the progress of society through multinational programs and activities. Fundación MAPFRE is fully aware of the fact that only by understanding the new realities of this changing world will we be able to move forward with this global project, which is structured around different areas of action. To achieve our goals, we organize a wide range of activities worldwide in five key areas that share a common objective: our ethical commitment to society. The five areas in which our activities are based are: Social Action, Culture, Health Promotion, Prevention and Road Safety and Insurance and Social Protection.