Learn how Peckham is helping people with disabilities gain employment in Flint

FLINT, Michigan — Peckham, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that offers job training as well as job opportunities for people that have significant disabilities and other barriers. It provides this all through the extensive programs that are available to Genesee County residents. 

The company currently offers four different services for its youth program and two additional employment programs for Flint.

Working with people with disabilities, youth at risk, adjudicated youth, and returning citizens, Peckham's overall mission is to help people achieve greater independence and economic self-sufficiency, according to Jo Sinha, CEO of Peckham.

A large part of Peckham is helping people gain jobs and skills, determine their career path in life and provide them with the tools and resources that they need to get to their goals.

“We are always continuing to look at ways we can deepen our involvement in Flint,” said Sinha. “The community has been amazing, and we've had so much support from the court, schools, and the Flint Disability Network.”

Brett Linton, Vice President of Manufacturing at Peckham explained that the organization strives to meet people where they're at in order to break through barriers.

“For those that come into the production environment, there's a pretty extensive training program, and they can progress to various levels of skills at our Flint location,” said Linton. “We meet them where they're at, or try to as best we can, given the circumstances that they might be going through at the time.”

The youth services at Peckham are also a highlight at Peckham as they give the youth a second chance to get the tools to strive toward their life goals. 

“For our young people, we are really about exposing them to careers because a lot of them haven't really experienced the bigger world,” said Sarah Britton, Director of Prevention and Reentry Services. “They have been very isolated regarding what kind of work experiences and role models they've had to look at. So, part of what we do with our youth programs is really trying to get them exposure and do a lot of career assessments.”

The Peckham building is located at 3080 S. Linden Rd. in Flint. Peckham started off with a single contract in 2018, serving 20 youths, says Britton. Now, Peckham’s serves almost 100 youths through four different youth programs. 

According to Britton, Peckham uses a lot of evidence-based practices in their programs. They provide their kids with not only a loving, supportive environment, but one that is also innovative. 

“They do not come just to learn how to write a resume or how to pass an interview. It is about understanding what all the barriers are that they are dealing with,” said Britton. 

The youth programs at Peckham have already received great feedback and support from the Flint community and Britton welcomes the community to help. 

“We always welcome community members that want to do more, and we can definitely add them in,” said Britton. “There are always ways to collaborate and bring opportunities to our kids, whether it's through mentoring, guest speaking, or doing projects around our building.”

Going through to the next level and getting the certificate of completion is more than just a piece of paper for the individuals that take part in the programs and services at Peckham. 

“When you hand out those certificates as they progress to the next level, generally, I see that same level of pride,” said Linton. “In many cases, those individuals have never received an award in their lifetime. So, they hold on to that paper certificate, like nothing I had ever experienced before. I am not just handing them a paper certificate; I'm literally handing them something that has more meaning to them in many cases than I could ever imagine.”

For more information about Peckham, Inc., visit: peckham.org
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