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Los Angeles Supervisor Kathryn Barger gives $115K Grant to Post-secondary Special Needs Program

“[Barger's] belief in the work that we are doing has meant so very much,” Denise Redmond, Co-Founder, Ready to Work! Academy said.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger recently presented a check for $115K in order to support job training for adults born with special needs.

The check was given to Carousel Ranch on Feb 22, a non-profit which provides equestrian therapy and vocational training programs to children and young adults with special needs, during the academy’s graduation ceremony.

“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,” Barger said.

The funds will be used to continue the Ready to Work program which prepares special needs adults for life after high school by combining curriculum with real work experiences.

“The Ready to Work Academy takes that mission to the next level and exemplifies the power of partnerships,” Barger stated. “I am proud to support a program that will undoubtedly continue to make a long lasting difference in young peoples’ lives.”

Carousel Ranch’s leadership expressed their gratitude for Bager's support for one of their crucial educational offerings.

“The Ready to Work Academy at College of the Canyons simply would not exist without the support of Supervisor Barger and funding from the County of Los Angeles in support of its creation, pilot program and classes thus far,” Denise Redmond, Co-Founder and Executive Director Emeritus said.

This is the fourth year that the Ready to Work program has been in operation. Classroom instruction at College of the Canyons and weekly onsite work experience at local employers’ locations, teach the academy’s students skills that they will need to join the workforce and prepares them for job-placement upon graduation.

“[Barger's] belief in the work that we are doing has meant so very much, enabling the creation of the program that extends post-secondary education to a population that would not otherwise have been possible,"Remond added. "As we celebrate the award of this next grant, we look to the year ahead in anticipation of more classes, development of our new curriculums, and increased opportunities for employment of our graduates. Together we have created something important."

Ready to Work teaches special needs students how to be contributing members of society and gives them a daily purpose, creating a routine and avenue for further development and friendships.

College of the Campus is proud to have been a part of the Ready to Work Academy since its inception,” stated John Milburn, College of the Canyons 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. All of it is made possible by the generous funding from Supervisor Barger, and by the support of the business partners where the work experience occurs, including AMS Fulfillment, Bluemark, Holiday Inn Express, Pet Supplies Plus, and Starbucks.”


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