Workforce transition

Program preps workers for life after benefits

Across all age groups, people with disabilities are less likely to be employed than those with no disabilities. With only 19.1% of people with a disability employed, the San Diego Workforce Partnership has released a new resource for creating a more equitable San Diego for those living with a disability. To help with this divide, Workforce Partnership administers two adult programs: Ticket to Work and Project Inspire.

Workforce Partnership Vice President of Client Services Shaina Gross said the Ticket to Work program serves people who receive Social Security disability insurance.

“It is usually a physical disability, so we help them get back to work while also being mindful of their Social Security and disability benefits,” she said. “We work with them to determine how to phase out of their benefits while their income ramps up. That is people that are receiving disability but want to go back to work.”

Gross said the Project Inspire program is for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, helping them get part-time work they can subsidize the wages for the employer.

“The person that hires them, we can pay part of the wages as an incentive to hire this particular job seeker,” she said.

Gross said with these programs, it hopes it can inspire employers to hire individuals with a variety of disabilities. She said Workforce can supply training, support, and a financial benefit.

“You have a much more diverse workplace, including more voices in your workplace, and we have many talented individuals who would make great teammates at colleagues, and they just happen to have a disability,” she said.

Gross said she believes there is a nervousness or concern about hiring individuals with a physical disability and the accommodation that have to be made in a workplace.

“Anytime you have a job seeker who is eager to work, that makes for a great employee,” she said. “The services that the Workforce Partnership can provide, ensures that this person is ready for the workforce, they will be successful because they have supportive services from our team, and we work with the employer to help them to identify if there is anything they need to adjust in order to make this a successful partnership.”

Employers interested in participating in these programs, visit