Maine HCBS Innovative Program Pilot Grants
In early 2023, SKILLS, Inc. was awarded two grants totaling nearly one million dollars that are now allowing the organization to expand employment exploration and driver’s education offerings through pilot programs in Somerset, Penobscot and Kennebec Counties. The two grants were awarded by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services for a 20-month period.
SKILLS anticipates coordination with other organizations and potential employers to reach a broader population and increase employer connections with these programs. “Transportation and employment are both avenues to foster independence for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism, and traumatic brain injuries (IDD/A, TBI).
"By providing these accessible, inclusive programs we can empower individuals to lead more fulfilling lives,” - Kristin Overton, Executive Director of SKILLS, Inc.
SKILLS is excited to pilot the Employment Exploration Services that the Maine Office of Aging and Disability Services has outlined in the Lifespan Waiver, for members on Sections 18, 20, 21, and 29.
These services are designed to be progressive, and intended to initiate at different points depending on the needs of the individual. Each service is time-limited to assist the individual with moving through the process toward competitive integrated employment.
This project will provide confidence-building and employment opportunity awareness through individual and group instruction and seeks to be an ongoing resource for both peer support organizations, employment providers, and potential job seekers in Kennebec, Somerset, and Penobscot Counties.
SKILLS Employment Explorations Services will offer several curriculums aligned to individual needs, led by SKILLS' pre-employment specialists.
Learn more details about each Employment Exploration Service HERE.
The SKILLS Inc. Drivers' Education School Pilot will be a fully licensed driving school offered to people who need either specialized learning or access to a training vehicle for the full 80 hours of practice time.
Instructors are certified DSPs and Licensed Class A driver's education instructors. The program provides drivers' education to individuals with I/DDA, TBI, and ORC, and will teach them skills necessary to obtain a driver's license, and provide practice time required to meet this requirement.
This program is offered to waiver members of sections 18, 20, 21 and 29 .