For adults and students with disabilities The Arc of Union County provides supports to allow them to reach their employment goals. We believe that all individuals who want to work should have the chance to pursue that dream and have the appropriate level of support to attain those goals. Services are provided based on eligibility and available funding.
Skilled employment specialists (or “Job Coaches”) ensure a smooth transition into a competitive job in the community for adults with disabilities.
For individuals who are unsure of what job they would like or who have limited job experience, The Arc can provide a Pre-Vocational Evaluation. The individual works with a job coach on interest inventories, learning style inventories, skill testing (when appropriate) and job sampling to find out what types of jobs he or she would be most successful at. Recommendations are then provided on the individual’s strengths, interests, and potential barriers to employment along with any other pertinent information.
Some individuals will then complete “Work Adjustment Training.” During this phase, the individual can work to reduce indentified barriers to employment. This is done primarily through continued job sampling in the community. The individual can go to one or several jobs and work on skill building and social skill training as well as gain valuable work experience.
For individuals who know what type of job would be best for them and who already possess the skills to be successful in that job, Pre-Placement services are provided. The individual may be given interview skill training, help with resume writing and other pre-employment activities to complete. The Job Coach then identifies jobs in the community that would be a good fit for the individual and helps the individual with securing an appropriate job. Once the individual is hired, he/she receives “Intensive Job Coaching Services.” During this phase the Job Coach assists with initial job training including ensuring that transportation options are fully understood and getting to know his/her co-workers. Once the individual is fully trained on the job and, if appropriate, the job coach can provide on-going supports through “Long-Term Follow Along” services.
The Arc’s School-to-Career Transition Program helps prepare students with special needs for post-graduation employment. Transition students explore career opportunities through job sampling at local businesses. This gives the student real-life experience in order to better understand the work world and how they can participate in it successfully. Students not only have the opportunity to develop marketable skills, but they learn soft skills that will help them be successful in a job after graduation.
For extended employment participants, all production work is fully supervised by skilled staff to ensure all workers have the necessary skills and are able to complete tasks according to job guidelines and quality standards. Emphasis is on the workers’ abilities and interests rather than their disabilities. All individuals are paid for work completed according to Department of Labor guidelines
In addition to providing safe and structured day programming, our work centers provide an opportunity for each individual to learn new skills, perform meaningful tasks, earn his or her own paycheck, and be part of a work team and community. At our work centers, Arc staff members teach participants job-related skills while reinforcing social and daily living skills.