Employment & Community Inclusion
Employment Success Stories
Nicholaus is a fairly shy, 23 year old young man who had never worked in the community on his own before. He had worked in a group setting through the NES Day Services in a warehouse on an assembly line. His dream job is to someday become a chef in a high-end restaurant.
With the assistance of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Employment Staff at NES in Lehi, he was able to apply and be offered an entry level job in the dietary department of Heritage Care Center. He wanted to make a difference in the quality of the food served there and learn new cooking skills.
Nick started working at Heritage Care Center in May 2019, he has learned new skills on how to safely use the large equipment and is learning the different dietary needs there. He takes pride in taking the temperature of the dishwasher and recording it before starting to wash dishes. Nick’s favorite part of his job is being able to help others and when he is able to organize items and putting them away in the kitchen.
Nick assists in clearing the dining room carts of the dishes, washing and placing the dishes into a sanitizing machine, he then ensures they are clean and put away in an organized area. He will help fill juice and beverage containers for the lunch hour, Organizing and putting away the food orders. He gathers clean eating utensils and cloth napkins, and rolls them. He has assisted in putting freight away and tearing down boxes to be recycled. Nick will complete any task that is asked of him with a positive outlook.
Nick had stated that he “did not know there are so many health and safety rules to stick to, but is happy to learn them as well.” He loves working in this Kitchen and the staff really like working with him there. He says his next step is to become the Assistant to the Chef, with his dream of going to Culinary Art school someday.
Employment First is a national initiative that encompasses policies, legislation, and system change efforts leading to increased community-based employment for people with disabilities. Employment First is a belief that community-based, integrated employment should be the primary day activity for working age youth and adults with disabilities. It supports an overarching goal that eligible persons with disabilities should have access to integrated work settings most appropriate for them, including the supports necessary to help them succeed in the workplace. Employment First does not mean employment only and does not deny individual choice, but is intended to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
Customized Employment is a person-centered process that aims to match people with meaningful work based on their interests and skills.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
PIE Transition: Discovery Activities and Vocational Themes
Patty Cassidy instructs on elements of Customized Employment and Discovery. She shares ideas for selecting task-based discovery activities by exploring patterns in the job seekers life and experiencing a range of activities both familiar and unfamiliar activities to the individual. Patty teaches how to identify vocational themes based on the information learned from the discovery activities.
Discovery: Home Visits
Ashlea Lantz and Patty Cassidy give guidance on conduction a home visit as part of the Customized Employment Discovery process. They give instruction on how to start the home visit, where to take what you learn from the visit and how to capture the home visit in the Discovery Staging Record.
Transition Programs: Getting Everyone on the Same Page
Marsha Threlkeld gives tools on how to communicate a clear and guiding idea or vision for your individual school transition program or employment organization’s school-to-work efforts. She talks about how to work jointly with all members of the team to understand Employment First and Community Integration, as well as articulate it to students and families. Marsha also talks about how your Transition Program can decide its own system to keep para educators, teachers, families, administrators and students on board and working towards the same transition focus.
Where to Start: How to Build a Supported Employment Program
Ashlea Lantz gives a provider focused presentation on how to structure your business to provide customized, supported employment into your company. She discusses how to properly allocate staff time and resources and amalgamate funding to meet costs.
Families as Partners in Transition from School to Employment
Marsha Threlkeld and Cathy Muarhashi share information on how families can be informed about employment and ready for the expectations of transition from school to work.