Supervisor Kathryn Barger presented a $115,000 check to Carousel Ranch on Tuesday to support job training for young adults with special needs.
Carousel Ranch is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and young adults with special needs through equestrian therapy and vocational training programs.
The check was presented during the graduation ceremony for “Ready to Work!” an academy dedicated to giving the students valuable skills and preparation for their employment after graduation. “Ready to Work!” combines classroom instruction at College of the Canyons and weekly, onsite work experience at local employers’ locations.
Some of the business partners include AMS Fulfillment, Bluemark, Holiday Inn Express, Pet Supplies Plus and Starbucks.
“College of the Canyons is proud to have been a part of the ‘Ready to Work!’ Academy since its inception,” said John Milburn, COC interim vice president, workforce and economic advancement. “We recognize the importance of providing education, as well as workplace experience, to special needs participants who may not have otherwise been able to do so and have traditionally been under-employed.”
This graduation ceremony marked its fourth year being implemented.
“I wholeheartedly believe it takes a village to make meaningful change in the lives of youth so that they have opportunities to learn, grow and reach their full potential,” said Barger. “The ‘Ready to Work!’ Academy takes that mission to the next level and exemplifies the power of partnerships. I am proud to support a program that will undoubtedly continue to make a long-lasting difference in young people’s lives.”
Denise Redmond, Carousel Ranch cofounder, said that the program would not exist without the support from Los Angeles County and Barger.
“Her belief in the work that we are doing has meant so very much, enabling the creation of a program that extends post-secondary education to a population that would not otherwise have been possible,” said Redmond. “As we celebrate the award of this next grant, we look to the year ahead in anticipation of more classes, development of new curriculums and increased opportunities for employment for our graduates. Together, we have created something important.”