Inclusive Pathways to Success (IPS) Region 4- Northern Virginia
Inclusive Pathways to Success (IPS) is a nonprofit trade school created for young adults with differing abilities that will empower students, serve as their ally and build a new talent pipeline for the skilled trades in the greater DC area. We do not believe that our students’ disabilities, such as severe ADHD, autism, learning disabilities or mild intellectual impairment, are barriers to employment. IPS purposefully uses the term “differing abilities” and offers a new pathway for training that addresses students’ educational needs. IPS welcomes people who often go through life with unrealized potential and are not traditionally served by post-secondary programs.
IPS plans to teach students how to succeed professionally by offering a tailored approach taught by licensed tradespeople and disability personnel with a low student-teacher ratio. We will build their skills in two ways – devoting 40% of our program to hands-on trade training in an educational environment best suited for their needs and the remaining 60% on teaching strategies to overcome social and communication challenges.
IPS wants to be a part of a deeper conversation about the many ways these students contribute to society. We also aim to help solve two major challenges that our community and our nation faces – the significant barriers to employment for these young adults after graduating from high school due to the lack of vocational training suited to their needs AND the severe need for skilled tradespeople as the Baby Boomer generation retires. We intend to be a part of the solution by creating pathways to skilled trade jobs and offering our students independence, economic stability and personal fulfillment.