Hibbett hosts job training program for disabled teens

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Dan Berthiaume profile picture

Hibbett Inc. partnered with United Ability of Alabama to offer a six-week summer Job Exploration Training Services (JETS) program.

The Birmingham, Ala.-based athletic-inspired footwear and apparel retailer began hosting a worksite for the United Ability JETS summer program in June 2021. United Ability is a non-profit seeking to improve quality of life for children and adults with disabilities in Alabama.

The program has enabled 10 high school students with varying abilities to receive on-the-job training, mentoring and work experience, side-by-side with other Hibbett employees at the company's distribution center in Birmingham. 

Students in the program receive a combination of work-based learning and on-the-job support as they receive mentoring and learn the skills needed to perform a variety of different jobs.  All program participants are paid to work four hours per day, five days a week for the six-week duration of the program.

Due to the success of the JETS summer worksite program at Hibbett, the company has committed to participating again for Summer 2022 and will continue to strengthen the partnership with United Ability in the future. Hibbett will also be participating in the first annual United Ability and the Department of Rehabilitation Services, DisABILITY Hiring Expo taking place on September 23, 2021. 

"We could not be prouder to host a program that is so impactful in Birmingham and provides access, opportunities and jobs to capable and hard-working youth who are often overlooked or forgotten in the job market," said Harvey Knighten, VP HR, Hibbett. "The JETS program allows a unique opportunity to these students as they prepare to enter a competitive workforce and in fact, we are hiring a couple of the students who were interested in permanent positions."

"We are so appreciative of the support Hibbett has shown United Ability's Summer JETS Program," said Katie Dumais, director of employment services, United Ability. "Hibbett has proven itself to be a true leader in the community and we look forward to growing this partnership for years to come."

Hibbett operates more than 1,070 Hibbett Sports and City Gear specialty stores, located in 35 states nationwide.