The Arc Jefferson - St. Lawrence began Career Connections in 1988 to further competitive employment opportunities in the community for individuals with disabilities. Career Connections is a community based employment service for adults 18 and older with a documented disability. Individuals with disabilities are placed within an industrial/business community setting with the goal of initiating and sustaining paid competitive employment.
Career Connections is committed to provide:
- Services designed to help the individual find and obtain a job that meets his/her needs.
- Training at the site of employment.
- Community Employment Services including transitional and supported employment services provided in integrated employment settings.
- Opportunity for reasonable accommodations.
Services and Programs
The Pathway to Employment program focuses on pre-employment skills to assist the person served with identifying a career/vocational direction. Instruction and training in pre-employment skills; such as writing a resume, mock interviewing and community employment observation. The program focused on integrated community based career exploration and experiences in identifying a career goal. This is a limited service with up to 278 hours of service or services within 365 days.
Transitional Employment Services provide opportunities for competitive employment placements for those individuals who require assistance in the areas of job development and acclimation to the work site. After these services are provided, the individual is independent and no longer requires services.
Supportive Employment Services assist eligible individuals who require ongoing support on and off the job in order to choose, obtain, and retain competitive employment in integrated settings.
Mental Health Services assist individuals to become more aware of their disability and how it relates to being successful in a competitive setting. This program is designed to strengthen the individual’s work record and work skills toward the goal of achieving assisted or unassisted competitive employment.
Intensity and duration of services are determined by the strengths, abilities, needs, and preferences of the individuals and may be of unlimited duration. Career Connections provides:
Intensive Vocational Rehabilitation
Services required by an individual to become employable within a supported employment placement and include the following:
- Evaluation, including site assessment
- Pre-placement classes
- Counseling, guidance and referral to resources
- Vocational or other training including job coaching and travel training
- Interpreter, readers, personal care attendants
- Coordination of Transportation Services
- Technological Aides or devices
- Occupational tools or licenses
- Periodic reassessment and alteration of strategies, as appropriate
The goal of Intensive Vocational Services is to provide the services and supports needed to obtain an employment level of stabilization where it is anticipated that the individual will be able to sustain employment with less frequent interventions.
Ongoing support services provided by Career Connections Supported Employment Service once the intensive training period has been completed. The goal of Extended Services is to assist the individual to maintain or regain employment and assist with career advancement and includes the following:
- Continued onsite contact
- Maintaining contact with employer
- Assistance with transportation
- Further training to enhance job opportunities
- Advocacy with benefits programs
Reintervention services may be necessary when an individual who has been previously stabilized on the job requires a substantial increase in the level of interventions necessary to maintain or regain employment.
Career Connections actively involves individuals and their families in assessment, planning, and decision-making throughout the service delivery process. With the individual worker’s consent and where appropriate, families are included in providing reinforcement of the worker’s role and in being consulted regarding their observations of the suitability of services.
Career Opportunities helps individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities obtain and maintain a job in the community. Services include financial incentives and on-site training to ensure employee and employer satisfaction.
Employment & Training Program
Career Opportunities Employment and Training Program assists persons with vocational barriers in obtaining and developing the skills necessary for successful employment through individualized employment and training services. Career Opportunities provides individuals with the support they need to obtain and maintain employment and at the same time functions as a personnel management resource to local area employers through specialized job matches.
Job Development Services
Career Opportunities provides employees with individualized career planning services. Interactive technology allows individuals to explore a variety of career options, design resumes, access Department of Labor job bank listings via internet service, practice interviewing techniques through "virtual simulation", as well as participate in a variety of additional assessment methods. Weekly Job Development meetings chart the progress made toward the employee's overall vocational goal. Additionally, Job Development Services include benefits management, positive self-presentation, support/peer groups, job clubs and a host of other employment-related supports.
Intensive On-the-Job Training
Employees utilizing a Career Opportunities Employment Specialist receive as much on-site training as needed to ensure that their job performance meets the employer's satisfaction. Additional support off-site can be utilized as requested. Follow-Along/Extended Services Career Opportunities provides long-term support to help an individual sustain employment for as long as they need assistance. Should an employee desire a career change, Career Opportunities will gladly step in with additional Job Development Services. Career Opportunities is committed to the long-term success of each individual.