San Diego offers paid internships to people with developmental disabilities

The County of San Diego, in partnership with PRIDE Industries, an employer of people with disabilities in the United States, provided individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities opportunities for six-month, part-time, paid internship opportunities with local government departments.

The program aims to help those with intellectual and developmental disabilities improve their job skills and increase opportunities for future employment.

Twenty candidates attended the recruitment event and had access to more than 15 individuals from County Departments such as Aging and Independence Services, Department of Child Support Services, Child Welfare Services, Department of Human Resources, Land Use and Environmental Group, and the Office of Emergency Services/Fire Authority.

There will be four teams with five interns per team. Over six months, they collaborate with County mentors to discuss career goals and craft their program courses, gaining practical work experience and honing skills and abilities that qualify them for entry-level civil service jobs. 

Moreover, PRIDE Industries’ job coaches provide tailored support to each individual for long-term success. Additionally, it has provided disability workplace inclusion training to County staff in a phased rollout.

As a social enterprise, the PRIDE Industries encourages counties nationwide to implement similar internship opportunities within their regions to serve and empower people with developmental disabilities and their families to achieve their goals in inclusive circumstances.