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Life’sWork of Western PA Receives Grant from the Hillman Foundation to Support Vocational Skills Development

Life’sWork of Western PA Receives Grant from the Hillman Foundation to Support Vocational Skills Development

Pittsburgh, PA (May 16, 2024) — Life’sWork of Western PA (Life’sWork) is honored to have received a grant from the Hillman Foundation to support the development of Vocational Skills Development Lab in Pittsburgh and Monessen. Life’sWork has served southwestern Pennsylvania for 96 years and has helped more than 100,000 individuals of all ages with disabilities and other employment barriers to achieve employment, independence, and self-sufficiency.

Hillman Foundation grant funds are being used to create themed skills training workspaces within the Life’sWork Vocational Skills Development Lab (VSDL) in southwestern Pennsylvania and to provide credentialed professional staff to administer vocational assessments and customized job training for Life’sWork clients. The VSDL program leverages “real-life” simulated work environments to accelerate and enhance individuals’ successful transition to employment. The program empowers individuals with disabilities to acquire the job-specific functional skills and self-confidence needed to tackle new employment opportunities in high-demand business and industry settings, such as manufacturing, retail, housekeeping, and restaurant services.

“Support from the Hillman Foundation is helping us change the trajectory of people’s lives by providing essential employment opportunities,” says Life’sWork of Western PA President and Chief Executive Officer Timothy Parks. “The impact of the Hillman Foundation grant will be profound, allowing individuals to access the same opportunities available to others without disabilities. We are thankful to the Hillman Foundation for their commitment to the quality of life of our community and for investing in access to economic opportunities for all individuals who desire to work.”

Life’sWork offers a full spectrum of employment support services to both adults and youth with disabilities and other barriers to employment, including individuals suffering from substance use disorder. Some of the services offered are vocational assessments and/or community-based assessments, client counseling around job-readiness themes (communication, attire, travel, and other topics), skills and interest assessments, job shadowing and work-based learning experiences, as well as access to participate in Vocational Skills Development Lab with the ultimate goal of job placement and ongoing support.

About Life’sWork of Western PA

Life’sWork of Western PA is a nonprofit organization empowering people to live the life they choose. Life’sWork partners with people with disabilities, individuals with other barriers to employment, and young adults to pursue their hopes and dreams through strengthening workplace abilities, building life skills, and developing meaningful relationships.

About the Hillman Foundation

Since its founding in 1951 by John Hartwell Hillman, Jr., the Hillman Foundation’s mission has been to improve the quality of life in Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania. The Foundation supports grantmaking that will establish the Pittsburgh region as a national leader in developing and implementing ideas that improve people’s lives. Learn more at


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