Work Transition Program
Meaningful & Sustainable Employment
Tia didn’t set out to start a business. She was simply striving to support Trevor’s unique needs and create an environment conducive to learning.
Since Trevor thrives with project-based learning, they continually follow his interests to keep him engaged. This time, he wanted to make soap. Academic skills were incorporated into the soapmaking process and after several months of developing and implementing steps, the idea formed to expand his new abilities into job skills.
There are limited opportunities for meaningful and sustainable employment for someone like Trevor who has complex disabilities and is limited in his ability to work independently. The solution? Trev’s Trades. Trevor’s mom created a transition program to progress him into adulthood and become a contributing member of society.
Now Trevor has a place perfectly suited to his needs to develop skills and contribute to a real-world product. The repetitive process of making soap teaches Trevor job skills that ultimately could increase his independence. Constantly adding holiday and seasonal-themed soaps keeps the process fun. Already, Trev’s Trades has boosted his self-confidence and exposed Trevor to the world of business. The program incorporates behavior supports, functional academic skills, mobility training, life skills, employment skills, community engagement, self-advocacy, and independence. In a nutshell, Trevor has gained skills in project planning, problem-solving, flexibility, budgeting, and financial literacy.
Each soap in our product line has Trevor's creative imprint. He brainstorms ideas, researches possible recipes, and tests new scents. Dreaming up new soaps flexes his creative muscles and gives him the opportunity to have fun in his work.
Trevor operates the shrink wrap machine, reviews invoices, packs orders, and takes packages to the post office. He even makes local deliveries via his bike! He’s learned about protecting contents from damage during transport, and how to handle and store products until they’re mailed.
Trevor meets with his job coach to refine the ideas, decide on which ones to execute, and come up with a plan for production. The coach talks through logistics and needs for each soap and helps Trevor turn his ideas into reality.
Trevor fills out a timesheet and gives it to the Trev’s Trades money manager (aka Grandma!). He receives a weekly paycheck and divides his money into envelopes, learning about saving and balancing a budget. He also makes regular deposits to his bank account and practices using his ATM card.
Through the soapmaking process, Trevor learns about science, safety, ingredients, temperature, and weight. It also requires Trevor to follow directions and recipes, learning time and planning skills.
Trev’s Trades gives Trevor an opportunity to give back. He's received much care, attention, and support throughout his life. Sharing his soaps, and soap profits, is one way he supports others. Trev's Trades has contributed to a baseball league, a children's hospital, an orphanage in Tijuana, and many others.