top of page

Elevate at CIL

Employment Preparation for High School Students with Disabilities

Photo of a person chopping food in a kitchen.

About The Program

CIL is excited to announce the piloting of a new proponent to our Youth Programming: “Elevate”, a high school vocational preparation program for students in special education. CIL will be working in collaboration with special education departments at local high schools and transitional programs to provide specialized classes, workshops and hands-on work experience to help students develop the skills needed to enter the workforce. Elevate is a year-long program that is comprised of the following phases:  


Phase 1: Development of Soft and Independent Living Skills

     Through self-advocacy classes, travel training excursions, and independent living skills workshops, youths (ages 14 - 22) will develop the skills needed to be successful in the workplace. Students are also invited to join CIL’s robust Social Club for youths with intellectual/developmental disabilities to further develop social/communication skills and foster a sense of community with their peers. A parent advocacy workshop on learning about the IEP/ITP system will also be offered for parents of students enrolled in the program.


Phase 2: Career Exploration

     Students will participate in Career Exploration Classes, where they will explore their interests and skills to learn about different career opportunities that are available to them. Guest speakers, which include hiring managers from local companies with supportive employment programs, will provide insight to their employment opportunities and the application process. Students will also be invited to participate in site visits to learn more about what it might be like to work in a specific industry. In addition, students are invited to participate in job skills classes, which include computer skills, media arts, and more. A parent advocacy workshop on local supportive employment programs will also be offered.


Phase 3: Early Work Experience

     Students who complete Phase 1 and Phase 2 will get the opportunity to receive 1-on-1 career counseling from our experienced career counselors. They will work with our counselors to find summer internship opportunities that are available through our partnering organizations. Our counselors will work with students to determine what kind of employment is right for them; whether it’s supportive or competitive employment, our goal is to have every student placed in a summer internship or entry-level position.


Phase 4: College/Trade School Preparation (optional)

     For students interested in pursuing a college career or learning a trade, CIL will offer local college and university site visits and help students navigate the application process to enter a college/university or trade school of their choice. Students will learn about different programs that may interest them and will have the opportunity to meet with teachers and DSP Coordinators to learn more about the programs they have available.

Cohorts Are Coordinated Through School Sites Only

Join The Program

For more information on how to get your school site enrolled, please contact CIL: or call (510) 841-4776

bottom of page