Council-Sponsored Grant Activities: Employment (2017)
The Discovery Process is a tool, an information gathering strategy that involves seven stages of learning about an individual. The Process includes interviews with the person and his or her family along with relevant school and work experiences. Three vocational themes are identified that best match with the person's interests, talents, and skills. A narrative description includes ideal conditions of employment, and a job/business development plan identifies 20 businesses that correspond with the vocational themes. Informational interviews are scheduled. The end result is a job offer.
During the 2016 project year, four transition students and nine adults with developmental disabilities were directly employed, earning minimum wage or above, and working between 12 and 35 hours per week. Three individuals participated in post secondary education programs. A total of 218 businesses that matched with the vocational themes of job seekers were contacted for informational interviews, and 121 parents attended workshops that focused on raising expectations about competitive employment. Sixteen school districts and nearly 100 teachers, Vocational Rehabilitation Services counselors, and county representatives are working to increase employment outcomes for transition students.
Nathan is a talented musician but his job search took nearly a year. It started with a informational interview at a small music shop. While they didn't have a job for him, they mentioned that they had been contacted by Menard's about finding someone to play piano in the store for their customers and passed on the contact information. Nathan's informational interview at Menard's included a short stint playing the piano. He gathered customers like a pro and even got some questions about whether he might play small parties. Nathan landed the job and will begin playing three to six hours a week. Marketing plans are in process.
Rebecca is employed at Walgreen's as a Customer Services Associate, working between 24 and 32 hours a week. She found the job on her own even though she is still working through the Discovery process. She is enjoying her work and the challenges of dealing with a variety of cashiering situations including checks, coupons, and declined charge cards. Even though she may seek other employment after completing the Discovery process, she is gaining experience and transferable skills that will serve her well in the future.
Gordon is organized and likes to organize, and recycling is one of his interest. His job at Eureka Recycling as a sorter is a good fit. He’s currently working part time but may have the opportunity to increase his hours if he would like.
Thomas began his new job at Twin Cities Hardware as a cleaner in March. He had applied for the job through a class at his transition program. He likes social interaction and results-oriented tasks so this is a really good match. He will be increasing his hours and taking on some additional responsibilities because he already has demonstrated what a great employee he is for the business.
Derek enjoys meeting people, and interested in keeping his work area and the work environment clean and orderly. He began his new job in May at Goodwill in White Bear Lake, and is working 20 hours a week as a janitorial specialist.