Harbor Regional Center opposes segregated employment and sub-minimum wage for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities; we seek to promote public policy:
- That restricts the expenditure of public funds to businesses who segregate employees with disabilities from the general workforce;
- That ends the ability of employers to pay employees with disabilities a sub-minimum wage;
- That discontinues programs that emphasize moving young adults from the classroom to a segregated or sub-minimum wage employment environment.
Harbor Regional Center seeks to promote and facilitate integrated and comparable wage employment alternatives:
- That strengthen existing and create new government tax incentives for employers to hire employees with disabilities into integrated environments at comparable wages.
- That assist employees with disabilities to find employment in the general workforce in jobs that they choose.
Harbor Regional Center believes the essential ingredients needed to advance competitive integrated employment for people with developmental disabilities are:
- A fierce commitment to make this happen;
- A secondary school education which focuses on the development of functional employability skills, early work experiences, mobility training and a competitive employment goal;
- Frequent and strong collaboration between the regional center, the local education agencies, the department of rehabilitation, clients and families;
- Internship opportunities such as those provided through Project SEARCH as well as paid internships to create opportunities for real world skill development for students as they transition out of school into the world of work;
- Post-secondary programs that provide support for students in certificate and degree programs fully integrated with typical students;
- Flexibility that supports a combination of paid work, volunteering and integrated non-work day activity options to accommodate client choice while promoting paid work options;
- Organized support from the business community;
- Public relations activities designed to showcase successful partnerships with the business community; and
- Supporting families early to foster and build high expectations for their children.