Mission In Action
The New Employment Skills Training Program Is BACK At The Nest!
We’re so excited to share that our N.E.S.T. program is back in action! N.E.S.T. (New Employment Skills Training Program) provides important work experience and job skills for young adults who are neurodivergent and not receiving much needed support to enter the world of work from their school or state services.
After a hiatus so that we could ensure everyone was safe during the most difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have 2 amazing young adults beginning their work journey with us. Over 6 weeks they will learn all the ins and outs of working in a coffee shop from making coffee to customer service and scooping ice cream. More importantly they will have the chance to hone the soft skills so important to the world of work including being on time, interacting with a supervisor and colleagues and being responsible for their work tasks.
All this takes place with the assistance of Nest job coaches whose sole job is to ensure these young adults have the supports they need as they are learning and that they leave with a sense of pride in their skills, knowledge of techniques they need to succeed and self-awareness of what areas of improvement they can work on. This valuable experience makes a huge impact by building their confidence and their resume at the same time.
We’re glad to be back in action and thankful for the community’s support. The N.E.S.T. program is funded via generous grants from the Liberty Bank Foundation and the American Savings Bank Foundation.
Nest Interns and Customers are Perfect Match
Did you know that at any one time The Nest Coffee House has between 6 and 8 young adults high school students with autism, intellectual/developmental disabilities or neurodiversity actively a part of our shop? Through our collaboration with local school transition programs these amazing young adults are learning so much by being with us at The Nest 1 or 2 days a week. As interns they follow the same process as our employees by filling out an application, completing an interview and beginning their on the job training out front in the shop. Not only are they trying out every facet of being part of a coffee shop, but they are getting the critical worker skills that can make or break any job: arriving on time, having a clean uniform, following a supervisor’s directions, accepting feedback, working with co-workers and more.
Here’s a statistic that might surprise you… the most important predictor of future success for a young adult with a disability is if they had a job in high school. The critical experiences at this age set the stage for all future employment by not only providing worker skills and job experience but more importantly, to build the confidence and self-esteem needed to be out there in the world of work! At The Nest our plan for these student interns is pretty straightforward. We surround them with whatever supports they need to succeed during their time with us. Whether that is breaking jobs down into much smaller parts, providing the repetition needed to retain a skill, modifying tasks to fit their ability, providing a role model with our lead staff, giving positive feedback and setting higher goals or being active at understanding and meeting their emotional support needs in these ever changing times. Simply said, we make a very stressful new situation comfortable so learning can take place. We know it works because we have hired many of our interns and customers just rave about their skills.
But we don’t do it alone….every customer who comes into The Nest provides important training to our interns. Simply by placing your order and being patient when it needs to be repeated several times, chatting with them as they enter your order to teach them customer relation skills, encouraging them when the task feels especially difficult, providing praise for a job well done, understanding when your order takes a bit longer or is not quite what you had expected…and finally being kind. These are all incredible gifts and ones we could never provide without you and we feel comfortable bragging that our customers are the best around. So next time you stop in, recognize that you are wearing an invisible super hero cape. Together we are making the world more inclusive one person at a time and there is great power in your purchase of a simple cup of coffee or treat at The Nest. Opportunity Brews Confidence here!