Park City designs program to hire the developmentally disabled
City Hall may create a program designed to offer municipal employment opportunities to people with developmental disabilities, a step that is envisioned as part of Park City’s wide-ranging social equity efforts.
It would be a broadening of the social equity programs and one that leaders would likely see as a chance to work with a segment of the population that typically garners only sporadic attention at City Hall.
City Hall’s social equity efforts are meant to ensure underrepresented groups are engaged in the public dialogue and have the opportunity to succeed in the community. The efforts have not focused on a singular interest group, but there have especially been discussions about Park City’s Latino community and the aging population.
The prospects of the social equity efforts addressing people with developmental disabilities will likely have support from Park City’s elected officials as they continue to craft the municipal government’s strategies as well as from activists who work with the developmentally disabled and other disabled people.
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City Hall staffers provided information about the possibility of a municipal program offering employment opportunities in a report that was released on Monday in anticipation of a Park City Council meeting on Thursday. The report describes a pilot program that would offer posts with flexible hours, perhaps between eight and 15 hours per week, to several people. The report says officials want to speak to the potential workers and their parents as the program details are set.
Staffers are in discussions with departments about possible duties. They are “asking that managers propose ideas they may have for positions that would add value to their departments and support our community goals of social equity,” the report says. The report offers examples such as a transit host position that would welcome people onto a bus, talk to passengers and say goodbye when the riders leave. They could also help the staff at the child care programs at the Park City Municipal Athletic & Recreation Center, the report says.
City Hall says it could seek assistance from parents of developmentally disabled people, the National Ability Center and Lucky Ones Coffee as it seeks people for the posts. The Park City-based National Ability Center is a long-established organization that provides adaptive athletic and recreation opportunities for disabled people, while Lucky Ones Coffee is a shop located in the Park City Library that offers employment opportunities for the disabled.
The elected officials will likely provide some sort of input about the proposal at the meeting on Thursday, but it is not clear what ongoing role they may have since many of the decisions will be made on the staff level.
The meeting is scheduled to start at 3:15 p.m. at the Marsac Building. Any discussion about a program would be expected to start at approximately 3:45 p.m. A hearing is not scheduled, but Mayor Andy Beerman usually offers the opportunity for input anyway.
The mayor and City Council, meanwhile, on Thursday are also scheduled to receive an unrelated update about Lucky Ones Coffee, something that is required through the lease with City Hall. A municipal report about the coffee shop indicates the business has “solid profit margins” and has a space that is “vibrant and alive.”
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Park City leaders on Thursday released a two-page statement addressing the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and describing that “bias and systemic racism exists in our community.”