For more information, please contact:

Alan Dunfee
Director of Mission Employment
Phone # 814-825-0788; ext. 104
Cell # 814-737-2869
Fax # 814-459-6003


Erie County, PA, October 12, 2016 – In close collaboration with the PA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Mission Empower announces today the launch of its program ‘Mission Employment’, providing crucial pre-employment transition services to Erie County’s youth enrolled in high school.

The program paves the way to vocational success for youth with disabilities by providing a combination of on-the-job experiences as well as hard and soft skills training. Youth can learn vital independent living and self-advocacy skills, as well as experience job shadowing, internships and workplace readiness trainings that serve to inform their future vocational choices, as well as provide valuable employment experience and exposure.

With limited pre-employment training services currently available to Erie County youth with disabilities and with national employment rates for persons with disabilities as September 2016 at 28% while persons without a disability is 73%, Mission Employment addresses an important community need and offers a unique competitive advantage in the employment sphere to its youth participants.

Examples of skills youth may benefit from learning through Mission Employment include: Household Budgeting, Financial Management, Resume Preparation, Navigating the Social Services, Disability Awareness, Understanding Transition Processes, Post-Secondary Education, Voting, Critical Thinking & Problem Solving, Safety in the Workplace and Employer Site Visits, to name a few. Mission Employment thus aims to facilitate the holistic development of high school youth into successful young adults who are able to navigate the transition out of high school and into gainful employment.

The program is open to all youth residing in Erie County who are between the ages of 14 and 21, and are currently enrolled in high school. An IEP is not a pre-requisite to qualifying for the program. If parents believe their child could benefit from the support provided by pre-employment transition services, they are more than welcome to have their school apply.

For more information on the Mission Employment program, please email us at or call us at 814-825-0788

To learn more about Mission Empower, please visit our website:, or find us on Facebook at