Contact: Rachel Vogelmeier 

(rvogelmeier@independenceinc.org)
Independent Living Skills/Peer Counseling Specialist
841-0333 ext. 115


COVID-19 – YEP! Program Update:

With the shut-down of schools and educational programs, temporary closing of businesses and ongoing safety precautions related to COVID-19, we are currently unable to offer our Youth Employment Program that features work trial opportunities for youth with disabilities. We are working hard to implement a Youth Transition Program that will take the place of YEP through 2021, and will serve to remotely and virtually assist youth with disabilities as they transition into adulthood and permanent employment with online training opportunities, information, resources and other assistance. Please continue to check back as we work out the details and operations of our youth transition services in light of COVID. In the meantime, we continue to offer and provide all of our independent living services in ways that are safe and effective. Please call with any questions or needs you may have.


Program Description

Youth Employment Program (YEP!) is a program that matches youth 15-21 years of age with members of the business community for job skill development. Independence, Inc. serves as the temporary employment agency for the participants. We pay all wages, employee taxes, and worker’s compensation insurance for the youth. In return, the business provides the opportunity for the young person to gain valuable work experience necessary for future employment goals.

Download our YEP! Brochure Here

To request additional brochures, please contact Amy Ballinger, Community Engagement Manager and we would be happy to bring or mail additional brochures to your business, residence or organization.

Business Participant Requirements

Participating businesses are required to allow the student to work at the company for an 80-hour trial period. If no employment is offered, we will switch the student to another job trial site.

The program is funded in part by a Community Impact Grant from the United Way of Douglas County.

Responsibilities of a YEP! Student

To get the most out of your YEP! work trial and to ensure a positive experience for all involved, students must adhere to the following:

  • Attend work every day.
  • Arrive to work on time.
  • Do not leave early or request to leave early.
  • Follow the employer’s instructions.
  • Get along with all supervisors and co-workers.
  • If you have to miss a day of work, you must call in ahead of time according to company policy.
  • Communicate with Job Coaches or Work Experience Coordinators if you are going to be absent.
  • If you don’t communicate with your employer or coordinator, you will be docked a portion of your incentive.
  • If too many days of work are missed, you will fail the cooperative work experience program (this decision will be made by your Job Supervisor and the Work Experience Coordinator).
  • You must go to work and school every day.
  • Always stay busy on the job…find work to do! Use initiative.

Student Worker Tax Forms