Dekko Foundation Awards up to $25,000 in Matching Funds to Cardinal Services | Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana

Warsaw, Indiana ─ Cardinal Services recently received notice from Dekko Foundation that they will match $1 for every $1 raised up to $25,000 in support of Pre-Employment Transition Services program (Pre-ETS). Cardinal Services is aligned with Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana as part of Easterseals Northern Indiana.

Pre-ETS is a workforce readiness program for students ages 14 to 22. The grant will help Cardinal Services and Easterseals Arc serve 300 students with intellectual/developmental disabilities in Kosciusko, Steuben, DeKalb, and Whitley counties.

Students will develop both soft and hard skills to prepare them for the job market. With guidance from Cardinal Services and Easterseals Arc, students will identify their skill strengths and develop job-specific skills. In addition, they will be nurtured in their social skills, communication, and self-advocacy among other skills needed for successful employment and independent living.

Services will include work-based learning; job exploration and shadowing; self-advocacy; and post-secondary counseling. Cardinal and Easterseals Arc also will provide counseling and support for the student’s caregiver, schools, employers, and other community partners. The project also includes new virtual opportunities for job training, skill building and exploration through Transfr, an economic development platform that provides immersive simulated job training in a variety of fields.

“Working with students for these years prior to their leaving school will give them the jump start they need to launch into a successful life,” said Cardinal Services Executive Director Vickie Lootens. “It will also benefit our community, providing a pool of young employees who are skilled and ready to work.”


About Cardinal Services

Cardinal Services provides a full array of services to adults and young people with intellectual/developmental disabilities and to families who have small children with needs. Since 1954, Cardinal has assisted and advocated for people with disabilities and challenges to live lives full of dignity, growth and opportunity. Cardinal’s purpose is to lead the way to full equity, access, and inclusion for people with disabilities, families and communities. To learn more, visit