Press Releases

ECLC of New Jersey Chatham School Students with Special Needs Seek Work Opportunities

Help ECLC of New Jersey students with special needs, like Emma Boland of Millburn and Elizabeth Garcia of Cranford, learn new skills before they go out into the workplace. Credits: by Amalia Duarte

ECLC of New Jersey’s students with special needs want to put their new skills to work for you! Let them create custom items imprinted with your name, initials, logo or other design. They can make personalized products including napkins, T-shirts, coffee mugs, travel mugs, coasters, water bottles, mouse pads, jar openers and much more. They also can take chores off your busy schedule, such as mass mailings, collating, copying, binding, laminating, packaging and sorting.

Students complete these jobs in the SKIL program, which prepares them for possible future employment and life after school.

The program begins at age 14. Initially, students learn to complete in-house jobs and operate different types of equipment. Then, they transition to nearby workplaces to gain experience on the job. The program is possible through the support of many local employers, including the Library of the Chathams; Overlook Hospital; and New Eyes for the Needy. Students also work at child care centers and retail stores and in food service, maintenance and office administrative support.

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“Our goal is to prepare students for independent living and for a smooth transition from school to young adulthood,” said SKIL Teacher Ann Cooper. “By ordering a product or giving us a job to complete, customers help our students with special needs practice jobs, while being supervised.”

ECLC is a nonprofit offering “Education, Careers & Lifelong Community” to more than 800 children and adults with autism, Down syndrome and multiple disabilities. The ECLC Chatham school is located at 21 Lum Avenue, behind the municipal building.

The ECLC school sets the stage for lifelong learning, offering a highly personalized education in a nurturing setting. The school provides an outstanding academic program, aligned with the state Department of Education Core Curriculum Content Standards, plus all the extras students would enjoy in a typical school experience. Students play on sports teams, run for Student Council, dance the night away at prom, socialize with their non-disabled peers at after-school, evening and weekend activities, join a school-based Boy Scout troop, perform in shows and proudly march in their own graduation ceremony.

Help ECLC students get on the road to success by giving them an opportunity to work for you. To provide SKIL students with a job, please contact Cooper by e-mail at or by calling her at 972-635-1718.

About ECLC

Founded in 1970, ECLC offers students with disabilities lifelong services. As students prepare to graduate, specialists from ECLC’s affiliate Community Personnel Services (CPS) work one-on-one with students to transition them into adulthood. CPS specialists find meaningful jobs in the students’ communities and provide ongoing support and advocacy in the workplace. Graduates who are not ready for work may join the P.R.I.D.E. Program, if appropriate, or are helped to find placement in another day program. P.R.I.D.E. is a self-directed, day/evening program where adults with disabilities continue learning and growing. All graduates are welcome to attend ECLC’s alumni night school and socialize with their former classmates at dances throughout the year. Learn more about ECLC.


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