Ready 2 Work Employment Programs

Ready 2 Work Employment Programs

The DSAGSL has heard from parents and community agencies about the challenges people with Down syndrome face when looking for and retaining employment. Our goal is to develop an initiative that involves agency support, employer relations, community engagement, and parent and self-advocate education.

3•21 Coffee, Mugs, Tumblers & Gift Boxes!

The 3•21 Roasting Program is a great hands-on skill building programs for individuals with Down syndrome working toward finding employment in the community. Program participants help roast fresh coffee beans, plus package and label the coffee. Then, at a Pop Up Marketplace event, participants sell the coffee to customers.  These programs help participants practice sorting, organizing, labeling and customer service skills. 

Introducing Gift Boxes! Perfect for the special people in your life, these Gift Boxes are available as a Single or Deluxe bundle (see photos for examples), and are built by our Ready 2 Work members with Down syndrome. You can purchase our Gift Boxes, coffee, tumblers & cups anytime by clicking on the order form button below.

Choose from: whole bean or ground coffee, colorful tumblers, and hand-painted cups by our talented self-advocate artists!

For more information about our 3•21 Roasting options, or the Ready 2 Work program, please contact Don at: Thank you to everyone who has supported this program!

Pop Up Marketplace - A Snack Shop with a Mission

This mobile marketplace is run by individuals with Down syndrome from marketing decisions, to assembly, to direct sales.  Individuals receive job skills and communication skills training, as well as learn the ins-and-outs of running a small business.  This portable shop moves from business-to-business selling “snack-packs” and freshly roasted, great tasting coffee in 12 ounce bags.

If you are interested in hosting our Pop Up Marketplace at your business, please contact Don at 314-961-2504 or email him at:


There are easy ways for you as parents and support persons to advocate for our loved one’s with Down syndrome regarding employment:

1. Share the following facts about the benefits of hiring people with disabilities with a business you know.

2. Join our Corporate Advisory Board which meets quarterly by phone for networking and strategic brainstorming. Email

3. Invite your company or a business you frequent to attend our Employer Summits held throughout the year to meet our newest Employment Academy grads and learn about hiring.

4. Ask if your spouse’s office, neighbor’s office, or your own office building will host our Pop-Up Snack Shop.  E-mail for more information.

5. Share your son/daughter’s success story with us! The more we can help our members shine, the more businesses will believe that this mission is possible.

Career Solutions Training Program

The DSAGSL’s Employment training – Career Solutions – is back!  We took the time during the pandemic to enhance our program and offer more resources to help our candidates find community-based employment.  Our next session is scheduled to start on September 27, 2022.  Classes during this 8-week session will be on Tuesdays at the DSAGSL office, from 9:15 – 10:45am.

To view the Course Outline, click here. Participation is limited to allow for personal coaching, mentoring and assistance. To apply for the next session, please complete the application, and email to Don Williams.

For more information about our Career Solutions program, contact Don at  

More Resources on Employment

Hiring People with Disabilities – It Just Makes Good Business Sense!

  1. It is a return on investment: By hiring people with disabilities, a business can access new markets, improve productivity through innovation, reduce hiring and training costs, and increase retention.

  2. New and exciting marketing opportunities: Customers with disabilities and their families, friends, and associates represent a trillion dollar market segment. A large number of Americans also say they prefer to patronize businesses that hire people with disabilities.

  3. Think innovation: Employees with disabilities bring unique experiences and understanding that transform a workplace and enhance products and services. People with disabilities can help create more efficient and effective business processes, use technology in new ways to increase productivity, and stimulate new product and services development.