2022 Annual Report

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2022 Annual Report


Established by the Marriott Family

The descendants of J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott, the founders of Marriott International, established Bridges from School to Work (Bridges) in 1989 to improve employment outcomes for youth with disabilities. In 1990, Bridges began serving youth in Montgomery County, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC. From there the program expanded to serve some of our nation’s largest school districts across the cities of Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York City, Oakland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.

In these 12 cities, Youth Employment Specialists now work each year with approximately 200 high schools to prepare youth with disabilities ages 17-24 for the competitive labor market, matching them to quality jobs with supportive employers that we believe will improve their career and earning prospects through their 20s and 30s.

Bridges’ personnel understand that for the program to succeed, they cannot concern themselves only with the needs of the young adults who enroll; they must also satisfy the needs that business and industry have for qualified workers. This employer-driven approach has been part of the program’s philosophy since its inception. Bridges brings together employers who need good workers with youth with disabilities having trouble connecting to jobs.

In most Bridges cities, the demographic profile of our participants matches that of the National Longitudinal Transition Study, which reported that school-aged students with disabilities were more likely to be male, poor, and racially or ethnically diverse than their peers without disabilities.
Smiling young African American man

Bridges From School To Work has been a tremendous asset and collaborative partner with Fort Worth Independent School District Special Education and Transition Support Services for eight years. We are especially pleased with the “hands-on” approaches taken by Bridges staff members. The FWISD Special Education Department readily endorses Bridges From School To Work for working so effectively with students, parents, schools, and businesses.


Director | Special Education Department, FORT WORTH INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

Bridges Participates in NextGen

Bridges is participating in a federally funded research study known as the NextGen Project. NextGen began during the 2021 academic year and will continue through 2024.

NextGen, or the Next Generation of Enhanced Employment Strategies Project, is a collaboration among several organizations. It is being led by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is also a partner on the project.

Mathematica, a research organization, will lead the study, which will be a randomized control trial (RCT), the gold standard for measuring program efficacy.

Ultimately, the NextGen RCT will be among only a few of its kind for young adults with disabilities as they leave high school and enter the workforce. The study will provide actionable information to policymakers about interventions for assisting individuals facing complex challenges as they find jobs, advance in the labor market, and improve their economic security.

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CARF Accreditation

Congratulations to our Chicago and Los Angeles Bridges offices for earning three-year CARF accreditation. CARF stands for Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services providers.
All Bridges personnel share a belief in the transformational power of a job for young adults with disabilities.

If you are a parent, Bridges is the best way to have a partner that shares your goals and dreams for your child thriving in a job that gives him purpose, dignity and real-world experience.

Shannon W.

Dallas-Fort Worth Parent