Employment Skills Training

This program provides individuals with the opportunity to learn work skills in a variety of paid, on-the-job training experiences, as well as volunteer opportunities.


Work Readiness Program (Community-based Services)

Desert Haven offers training in a variety of community-based work settings, each with high standards and expectations for performance, attitude, and behavior. The goal is to equip consumers with marketable job skills and to develop and enhance interpersonal skills and other “soft skills”, like communication, attitude, work ethic, teamwork, time management, motivation, flexibility, problem solving and conflict resolution, all of which are necessary to succeed on the job.
The off-site work crews, also known as the hab crews, provide opportunities for consumers with limited or no previous employment experience to train and to work within an actual community-based employment setting. Consumers participating on the off-site crews are able to explore employment interests, gain marketable job skills, and perform services that are valuable and vital to the local business community. Without question, the off-site hab crews not only allow consumers to build a resume, but have proven to be an excellent stepping stone into regular jobs within the community.

Some of the current off-site crew opportunities include:
  • Antelope Valley Boys and Girls Cubs: Janitorial Service
  • Antelope Valley College (Palmdale Campus, Palmdale Regional Airport Campus, and Fox Field Campus): Janitorial Service
  • Buckle & Boots and Don Sal’s Mexican Restaurant: Multi-purpose/Janitorial Service
  • California State University Long Beach (Lancaster Campus): Janitorial Service
  • City of Lancaster (various sites): Janitorial Service/ Outdoor Trash Cleanup Service/Grounds Maintenance Service/Clean Out and Board Up Service
  • Crissair, Incorporated (Santa Clarita): Janitorial Service/ Grounds Maintenance Service
  • Ironwood Properties: Multi-purpose/Janitorial Service and Outdoor Trash Cleanup/Weed Abatement Service
  • Lamar Advertising: Janitorial Service/Grounds Maintenance Service
  • Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company: Multi-purpose/Janitorial Service
  • Michael's Distribution Center: Assembly Service/Packaging Service/Labeling Service/Quality Checking Service/Grounds Maintenance Service
  • Rite Aid Southwest Customer Support Center: Tote Wash Service/Tote Sort Service/Security Tag Service/Trim and Mod Service/Grounds Maintenance Service

There are even opportunities to volunteer within the community, with volunteer crews expanding to include:
  • Palmdale S.A.V.E.S Food Bank – Sorting food items, filling hygiene bags, separating clothing, etc. for persons in need
  • Rancho Village Retirement Community – Participating in chair volleyball and other activities with the senior residents 

Whether participating on a paid work crew or a volunteer crew, all crews are designed to teach consumers job skills and other important skills that are necessary in order to participate more fully within the community and to obtain and maintain a fully integrated, fully compensated job of their choosing in the future.

Consumers placed within the Work Readiness Program also participate in Employment Preparation classes designed to develop and/or enhance interpersonal, social, and communication skills; vocational skills; job search, hiring, and job maintenance skills; knowledge of community-based supports and resources; self-advocacy skills; and community integration skills.
All services associated with the Work Readiness Program are conducted at locations within the community.  Desert Haven Center serves as a hub for the program with consumers assembling at DH Center, where they are given their crew assignments, are transported to the job or volunteer sites, and return at the end of the program day.

For more information on the referral and admissions process, please contact:

Martha Knight
 Manager of Program Services
(661) 948-8402