Located in the downtown business district of Washington at 109 South Marion Avenue, Advance Employment and Community Services is the program that administers and manages the Community Servies Programs of WCDC, Inc
The Supported Employment Program has several different aspects to it. Overall, the purpose is to match individuals with their employment desires in the least restrictive setting. Anyone who has the desire and can complete the program with appropriate funding may be referred to the program. Currently Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation (IVRS) funds Career Exploration and other Assessment Services for those who aren't sure what kind of job they are interested or are able to perform. Staff will assist these individuals in completing various evaluations to identify their "dream job" and relate it to current trends and availability in our area. Funding for Job Development is secured through the Medicaid Waiver program for those individuals eligible. The person referred will have some type of employment they are looking to find as well as number of hours they think they would want to work. They can develop a resume, prepare for interviews and determine the best approach in their Career choice. When job development begins, the person will have an idea of what employment goal they are best suited for. They will meet with a Job Developer to review the application process, interviewing techniques and skills, as well as other aspects of obtaining and maintaining a job. Once a job is found and the individual begins employment, job coaching is available to assist the consumer with the orientation process as well as assist the employer with the skills of the individual.
All individuals enrolled in the program will follow the Individual Comprehensive Program Planning as all departments of WCDC. (This means each person is to have a staffing every six months and documentation of goals, etc.)
WHAT IS JOB COACHING?
After being hired for a job, the consumer or the employer may request to utilize the services of a job coach. A job coach is scheduled as needed with the individual to assist them in being successful on their job. This may include communication with co-workers or employers, quality standards/expectations, grooming or dress requirements, attendance, socialization skills, time management, and so on.
The job coach is the liaison and primary support to the consumer and it is the job coaches responsibility to know what is going on in the consumer's life as it relates to their employment. Each job coach is also a Team Leader. This means they are responsible for the programming of a specified list of individuals in the Program. The Team Leader is also the primary contact for other team members.
To determine the need for job coaching or ways to increase an individual's skills on the job, Service Entries and other documentation is utilized.
Service Entries are completed each time staff provide services to individuals in the SE program. The service entries are the justification for services as well as the documentation for billings. When completing service entries, documentation of which consumer was seen, the date, beginning and ending time of service, what activities (or job duties) the consumer was doing, what interventions you (staff) provided and what the consumer's reactions to those interventions are. Documentation of outcome/ results of consumer goals are also recorded on service entries.
Other assessments may be recorded on a monthly, quarterly, and semi-annual basis depending on the documentation needed.
Scheduling in the Supported Employment Department is very different than other programs. Depending on the needs of the consumer, staff hours must be flexible. Morning, evening, weekend, and holiday work will be required. A typical daily schedule may see the staff person traveling several different locations within and possibly out of the Washington community. Several different consumers may be seen within a day's time and sometimes a consumer may be seen several times per day. It is all based on the needs of the individuals we serve. AES also utilizes an on call service where employment needs of individuals may be addressed on a 24 hours per day basis.
Advance Employment Services (AES) provides job coaching services to approximately 44 individuals employed in the community. Another 10 individuals are in the program for job development and 12 are participating in job assessments. In the last fiscal year, AES was able to assist 21 individuals in obtaining community employment, an increase from 19 the previous year.
There are other service providers that assist individuals with disabilities; however, WCDC is the only Washington County based company. WCDC/ AES are the only contracted provider for vocational services with the County of Washington although we provide services in several counties.