A $15,000 grant from the Fairfield County Community Foundation was recently awarded to STAR Inc. to hire an employment advocate. That person will be tasked with placing adults with developmental disabilities in jobs with local businesses.
The grant funds a “job developer position” at the nonprofit, which has served the region since 1952.
STAR is at 182 Wolfpit Ave. in Norwalk and serves all of mid-Fairfield County with residential, recreational, advocacy and community-based employment programs for some 600 clients. Communities include Norwalk, Westport, Darien, New Canaan, Wilton and Weston.
Katie Banzhaf, executive director of STAR, said, “We are thrilled to be awarded these funds to benefit the scores of qualified individuals eager for competitive employment in our communities. Experience has proven that these job placements have been a win-win for the employers, our clients, and the communities at large.”
STAR currently has placed more than 60 individuals with developmental disabilities in companies and organizations throughout Fairfield County. The new job recruiter will play an important role in helping to match all the STAR candidates who seek a job with the right local employer.
Companies who have benefited from STAR’s supported employment program are quick to comment about the reliability, eagerness, energy and positive influence that these employees bring to work, according to STAR.
STAR’s mission features a full array of services that include early intervention programs for infants and preschoolers; family support; job assessment and training; recreation and leisure activities; and residential support to adults in group homes and apartments. For more information, visit starct.org.