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The E-Zone is funded in part by a Community Development Block Grant from the City of Providence and the Sisters of Mercy Northeast Community Mercy Fund.

The E-Zone (“Enterprise Zone”) is a workforce development program designed to help our clients find real jobs with real wages in cities and towns throughout Rhode Island.

Judith Drew, Ph.D., who has more than 25 years of experience in disability management, staff development and career counseling/vocational assessment, serves as a consultant to the ReFocus E-Zone. Dr. Drew is currently the Program Director/Visiting Assistant Professor, Rehabilitation Counseling Program, at Salve Regina University.

Many folks with developmental disabilities, especially those who have recently aged out of Rhode Island’s educational system, want to work, but with no training or employment options, they and their families and caregivers feel the stress of a society that often sees disabilities, instead of abilities. The E-Zone offers these families – and “jobseekers” – a step-by-step program, proven to help adults with differing abilities find meaningful, long-term employment at prevailing wages in the community.

Importantly, ReFocus does not set unrealistic timetables for acquiring and retaining a job. Because each of our clients has differing abilities and skill-sets, some will find a job faster than others. While we always challenge the folks to move toward their goals, we also respect that each of us moves at her or his own pace.

The ultimate goal of our E-Zone program is more than just finding a job. It’s about ensuring that folks with differing abilities have more financial independence, more integration in the community, and the improved self-esteem that comes from being a wage-earner in America.

Employers: Become a job or internship site for our new E-Zone Workforce Development Program

Your business, company or organization can enrich the lives of ReFocus clients by providing opportunities for internships and gainful, meaningful employment. In addition to making the E-Zone program successful, you will also support the ReFocus mission in a very special way – by promoting uniqueness, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

To discuss possibilities, please contact Sue Desrosiers at 401-272-1600, Ext. 108, or e-mail Sue at sdesrosiers@refocusinc.org.

Employers, please click here.

Theme Teams and the E-Zone

The Folks at Work