Approaches to Finding Person-Centered Employment

Person-centered approaches lead to jobs that are a good "fit" for individuals

Person-centered approaches lead to jobs that are a good “fit” for individuals

Whether a person chooses to work full-time or part-time, Community Involvement Programs supports them as they engage in satisfying and rewarding employment in their communities. We have assisted many people in securing meaningful jobs and developing career opportunities using discovery-based techniques and an individual career planning process. Our approach puts the job-seeker at the forefront of the job seeking process.

One of the specific discovery-based methods used by our Employment Consultants, Discovering Personal Genius(TM)  (DPG) (developed by Griffin-Hammis Associates, LLC), has resulted in a number of engaging and creative employment opportunities. DPG begins by gathering information with in-depth listening sessions and observing the individual in a variety of environments to verify skills. From this information, our Employment Consultants determine ideal conditions of employment and at hone in on at least three vocational themes for each person, focusing on strengths, skills, supports, and contributions. The goal of this process is to facilitate connections between the person and employers that will eventually lead to customized job development. This approach is particularly helpful for people with more complex disabilities and for those who are willing to invest more time up front to achieve meaningful and lasting opportunities in the end.

For those who already have a more clear vision of their employment goals, or those who are facing time pressures for their employment search (e.g. because income is needed very soon for rent, food, child care, etc.), the individual career planning process may include approaches that consist of collecting and analyzing information from the individual, family members and other people closely involved in their lives. The information gathered is used to create a profile, which becomes the foundation for the job development process (click on this link for information about vocational profiles from The Rural Institute). Depending on the needs of the individual, the career planning process may also include assistance with typical job-seeking tasks such as providing information requested by potential employers, discussing interview expectations, and ongoing support to be successful once they’re working.

Community Involvement Programs’ Employment and Community Supports division, has a long history of facilitating customized and supported employment, at businesses in the communities where people live, for regular wages, fostering typical work relationships and natural supports on the job for people living with disabilities. And one thing we have learned through the years is the importance of customizing the job-seeking process itself, using whatever tools and techniques make sense for each person. Focusing on the person first has led to many successful jobs–and some great learning experiences, as well–that are as varied as the job-seekers themselves.

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