Experiences transitioning from the use of Section 14(c) certificates

The transition from 14(c) is a difficult one

When serving students with more significant needs, as my program does, it is a very difficult transition from the 14(c), if the goal is to continue providing paid work experience. This requires our business partners to agree to pay minimum wage for each student worker, regardless of performance. This is not in the best interest of the businesses. Businesses are in the business of turning a profit. To ask an employer to pay minimum wage for students producing significantly less that their non-disabled peers, is an impossible sell. Business are not required to provide work experiences for persons with disabilities, and though they might like to do so, it also must make financial sense. We are currently utilizing the Paid Internship Program (PIP) DDS funding for regional center clients, which helps now, but I do wonder of the longevity of that program once folks start paying attention to the amount of tax payer money going to subsidize this work. My fear is that the PIP funding will dry up, and without the 14(c), it will be extremely difficult to provide paid employment opportunities for all.

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Idea No. 365