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Man with Down syndrome serving in a cafe


The Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) Supported Employment Paid Internship Program (PIP) is designed to encourage competitive integrated employment (CIE) for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (clients). CIE is full or part time work for which an individual is paid minimum wage or greater in a setting with others who do not have disabilities. This program is funded through the State of California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) in conjunction with Regional Center. TMI is the agency responsible for administering the program by directly interacting with employers and clients to foster successful outcomes. The purpose of the program is to increase the vocational skills and abilities of clients who choose, via their Individual Program Plan (IPP) process, to participate in an internship. Goals of this program include the acquisition of experience and skills for future paid employment, or for the internship itself to lead to full or part time paid employment in the same job. 


  • Highly Trained Job Coaches

  • On-Site Training for Employees

  • Full Service Tax Credit Support

  • CARF Certified Program

  • Quality Assurance Emphasis

  • Low Employee Turnover

  • Job Analysis and Safety Review


The benefits of the program to employers and clients are many. Here are five reasons to hire an intern through TMI's Paid Internship Program.

  • Financial Support - Funding for the program covers 100% of the intern’s salary, along with all other employment related costs including Worker's Compensation Insurance.

  • Built In Training - Interns are paired with a job coach (also paid with funding) that provides 1:1 supervision and training to ensure the client is performing their job duties to the expectations of the employer.

  • Fewer Sick Days - Studies show that employees with developmental disabilities take fewer sick days, and have fewer occupational health and safety issues.

  • Valuable Experience - Individuals with developmental disabilities have valuable skills, qualifications, and experience. The key is matching the right person to the right job. 

  • More Diversity - Workplace morale and productivity can be strengthened through a diverse workplace that includes employees with developmental disabilities. 


Please contact us today to get started with the program or if you are interested in employing one of our clients who will not only be an outstanding intern, but you will also be making a difference in the life of another individual. We thank you in advance for your partnership in helping TMI to transform lives!

TMI Paid Internship Program Stories

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