Introducing the first Hillsborough County hire with the Hands On Education program

Hillsborough County Social Services is a place for residents to go when they are in need. Just ask Ryan Davidson, one of the department's newest hires. Ryan is the first staff member Social Services clients see when they enter the office at the University Community Resource Center where he helps residents apply for programs and services in his role as a Social Services Specialist.

Many times, these clients have hit a rough patch, according to Ryan, who is there to help guide them through the process. Ryan's journey to employment with Hillsborough County started with an internship through Hands On Education.

Meaningful 'Hands On' internships

Hands On Education is a state-funded program that prepares individuals with disabilities for employment through partnerships with private and public organizations. The organization has successfully hired 1,400 graduates and has been recognized as one of the top 10 employment programs by The White House Champions of Change Program. Hillsborough County has worked with Hands On since 2019, supporting over 20 interns working a total of 80 hours each across several departments. Ryan Davidson is the first Hands On intern to be hired full-time by Hillsborough County after the successful completion of his internship.

Ryan's role

Ryan was looking for a viable career path after high school when he was referred to Hands On Education through the Florida Department of Education's Vocational Rehabilitation program. The program pulled together a list of Ryan's interests and experience, and the Hands On team connected him with Hillsborough County. After acing his internship with Social Services, Ryan's supervisor saw an opportunity for him to grow with the department. His ability to learn and retain job-related knowledge, adaptability, and desire to serve the community were reasons he was selected for his new role.
Ryan's sentiment about his job - "I just knew this is where I wanted to work."

About Social Services

Social Services provides comprehensive case management programs as well as stabilization services to low-income residents of Hillsborough County. Services include basic living needs, housing, education, and training for Hillsborough County's most vulnerable residents. Learn more.

Photo Information: Social Services Specialist Ryan Davidson assists clients at the University Community Resource Center.