The Next Move Program is a Richmond-based non-profit organization, partnering with William & Mary and local businesses to create guided internship experiences for young adults with disabilities. The Next Move Program aims to combat the 70% unemployment rate for young adults with diverse needs in the Commonwealth. Through education and job training, we empower these individuals to achieve their goals. 80% of our graduates have gained employment or acceptance to post-secondary programming.
The Next Move Program selects up to six interns between the ages of 18-25 for each session. Sessions range from six to 12 weeks. Next Move programming takes place Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. There is an application and an interview in order to be selected.
The job training process is both thoughtful and supported. Our team works with area businesses to develop individual training positions for our students to learn. They spend at least two hours in their departments each day gaining transferable work skills. Our team of special educators also serve as their on-site vocational job coaches; we provide individualized supports, individualized accommodations, and individualized care. And with every success or mastered goal, we know that our students are that much closer to realizing their value, as is the larger community.
While job training helps our graduates find employment, our instruction is what helps them maintain employment. Interns spend over half of their day in a classroom setting on site at the host business. We provide direct instruction in work readiness, social skills, and life skills concepts that align with the Virginia Department of Education's standards for transition.
Joseph Isley, Lead teacher
Heartley Huber, Grant PI
Assistant Professor of Special Education