Tech Meets Touch in Innovative Job Training Partnership
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 • 6:15pm
Deron School, one of New Jersey’s oldest and most respected private special education schools has become the first in the state to contract with an innovative recycler of electronics, putting students to work in ways that protect the
environment. In a new partnership, students with disabilities from the Deron School take on meaningful jobs dismantling unwanted electronic equipment through the non-profit Green Vision, Inc., based in Morris Plains, N.J.
“It’s an impressive win-win,” explained Kenneth Alter, Director of the Deron School, adding, “Our motivated students with autism and other disabilities get great job experience while protecting the environment from pollution related to electronics.”
Started as a vocational program in 2007, Green Vision has dismantled some 800,000 lbs. of electronic waste, keeping heavy metals like titanium, copper, cadmium and lead from polluting the environment and reducing the consequences of mining for those metals.
“Green Vision provides training and skill development for young people and adults with autism, and we’re thrilled to team up with the Deron School, which is renowned for its effectiveness in preparing students with disabilities for successful, productive futures,” said Green Vision President, Tim Butler, who has worked with students with autism since 1999.
In this partnership, Green Vision provides technical support and staff training, while the Deron School staff oversees the actual dismantling of computers, printers, keyboards, etc. into component parts that are then sold to federally licensed recycling facilities.
The organization is able to track the downstream market until materials are sold as pure commodities, such as gold and copper, which are found in circuit boards. Precious metals and wires mostly stay on the East Coast and plastics are sold to recyclers monitored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“Since January 2011, when it became illegal for New Jersey residents to throw e-waste in with municipal trash, our operations have grown dramatically,” said Butler. While most of the cast-off electronics – computers, printers, monitors, and wires – are dropped off by area companies and residents, Green Vision offers to pick up equipment locally, provided there is a full truckload. www.gvinc.org
According to Alter, the program provides his students with a wide range of opportunities to develop new skills. “This is real on-the-job teaching, involving speech, math, history and occupational therapy,” Alter explained.
“In addition to the value of the training, this initiative will establish positive relationships for our students in the working world that can lead to other gainful employment prospects,” Alter added.
With campuses in Montclair and Union, N.J., the Deron School offers special educational programs for students with learning disabilities from 5 to 21 years old, and students 13 to 21 with autism spectrum disorders. Students who attend Deron are placed by their local public schools, and services are provided at no cost to parents. Approved by the Department of Education and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Deron School serves more than 275 students with disabilities from Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic and Union, Counties.
For more information:
www.deronschool.org or 908-206-0444 or 973-509-2777.
Below is the upcoming open house schedule at Deron School:
Deron I: 10/9
Deron II: 10/10
Deron I: 11/7
Deron II: 11/8
Deron I: 12/13
Deron II: 12/11
Deron I: 1/15
Deron II: 1/16
Deron I: 2/14
Deron II: 2/12
Deron I: 3/20
Deron II: 3/21
Deron I: 4/18
Deron II: 4/17
Deron I: 6/12
Deron II: 6/11