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Iowa Community of Practice Employment First Webinar Van Buren Job Opportunities customized employment strategies summary.

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Presentation on theme: "Iowa Community of Practice Employment First Webinar Van Buren Job Opportunities customized employment strategies summary."— Presentation transcript:

1 Iowa Community of Practice Employment First Webinar Van Buren Job Opportunities customized employment strategies summary

2 Overview Introduction What was learned from using customized employment strategies Success story Contributing factors that made a difference Successful outcomes What we are doing differently now Overcoming barriers Applying learned strategies in school system

3 What was learned from participating in customized employment strategies Learned what customized employment is NOT – Discovery is not an assessment – Customized job development is not just matching job seekers with a job opening Learned that Discovery and Customized job development strategies can enhance your placement efforts

4 Discovery Provides the starting point of the customized process-doing our homework up front helped make job development easier Allowed us to get to know the person on a whole new level by taking into account the job seeker’s entire life experiences rather than single instances of performances Following up with a community based assessment(CBA) greatly enhances employment possibilities for job seekers

5 Customized Job Development Helped us take what we’d learned in discovery to determine whether an employer’s needs truly match the job seeker’s contributions, conditions, and interests for employment Utilizing information gathered in Discovery helped us with negotiating a position. For some job seekers negotiating worked better than the old traditional way of matching a job opening to a client Negotiating a position gives us more presentation ideas and, also, reinforced what we were already doing in ‘job carving’

6 Success story Customized employment strategies helped those with most significant disabilities, who would not have had the opportunity under the traditional way of doing business, become competitively employed in the community.

7 Other contributing factors that made a difference Received training and technical assistance from customized employment experts Practiced new ideas Strengthened relationships at the local level by- – Building a trustful relationship with the job seeker and parent/grandparents/guardian – Engaging families more in the process – Recognizing what a critical partner IVRS is in getting things to work smoothly at the local level – Learning customized employment strategies together – Strengthening relationships with case management

8 Successful Outcomes The pilot project gave individuals with significant disabilities an opportunity for work in the community that they might not have had otherwise VBJO placed 4 of the 5 job seekers In total for this past year, placed 12 clients – (In 2011-12, placed 3 & in 2010-11, placed 4) For the first time, VBJO’s job retention rate was 100%! The technical assistance & resources made available through this pilot were great! The opportunity to continue for a second year to – introduce the Discovery phase into the school-to-work transition process in order to help build a transition program that promotes early and ongoing employment planning

9 What we are doing differently now to be more effective Discovery process allowed us the time and the tools to find out about a job seeker in-depth- identifying their conditions for employment, contributions, tasks, and interests. Discovery approach allowed us to start more broadly than we had in the past. Now, VBJO looks at as many aspects of the individual’s life as possible in an effort to find the information necessary for employment success. Up to now, the starting point using the traditional approaches to assist job seekers had been to assess their skills and interests. VBJO learned how to ask more questions, observe, and collect information starting at the initial intake. – If you ask what someone wants to do? They would answer what they knew or were familiar with- work with children or animals. We found that asking questions like “What do you love? If you could do or be anything in the world, what would it be? What are you immensely grateful for? What do you care about? What makes you happy? What chores do you do at home?” Then follow up their answer with another question, helps you dig deeper & find the most ideal circumstances that enhance their performance, which helps connect them to their strongest interests and ultimately a job. Conducting Discovery followed by career exploration and/or especially community based assessments (CBA) have made the difference in our success-Using those together have given us a jump start on the customized job development phase.

10 Overcoming barriers The one job seeker that we were unable to place was a student that had just graduated from high school. – He had had little realistic exposure to the world of work while in school, and therefore, – Limited job related information – He had no adult providers, except IVRS – His day was comprised of playing computer games – He didn’t know what he wanted to do The adult support providers, case managers, parents & school systems had little or no knowledge of customized employment

11 Applying customized employment strategies in the school system This year, VBJO is partnering with a school district to create a strong school–to-work transition process that Ensures that students with disabilities’ career readiness begins early Introduces integrated competitive employment opportunities to student while in school Extends the Discovery process into the school Promotes the importance of a student receiving paid work experience Promotes a transition process that is a natural progression for the student becoming employed after high school, or ideally, the student obtaining a job before the student graduates Connects students to adult providers & resources prior to graduating Develops a system that has an established process to provide needed supports to obtain and maintain employment Explores funding sustainability Builds partnerships and strengthens existing collaborative efforts

12 Van Buren Job Opportunities 308 Mulberry Street Keosauqua, Iowa 319-293-6276

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