Peacehaven is piloting a job-preparedness program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the summer of 2019. This job program is called “Julian & Friends.”
Adults with disabilities searching for a job face an 85 percent unemployment rate, despite their desire and ability to work. Julian & Friends’ mission is to change that by preparing adults with disabilities with work skills that can be used in many different job settings.
In Julian & Friends, adults with disabilities will learn how to grow vegetables using hydroponics, with the support of Peacehaven staff.
Hydroponics is an alternative farming system that grows plants in water rather than soil. In traditional farming, plants feed on nutrients found in soil. In hydroponics, the necessary nutrients are added directly to the water, which then feeds and hydrates the plants.
Hydroponic greenhouses are temperature controlled, insect-free, and provide many achievable job tasks––making it an ideal working environment for adults with disabilities.
After the vegetables are grown, adults with disabilities will then be trained to sell, package, and deliver the fresh produce to customers. By the end of the job program, adults with disabilities will have worked as greenhouse assistants, sales associates, and customer service representatives. With the experience gained in Julian & Friends, Peacehaven hopes to help adults with disabilities secure long-term job placements.