Customized training is an excellent way to connect job seekers with disabilities to high-quality, well-paid jobs in their communities. It also provides employers with a better idea of what vocational rehabilitation services do, which can lead to mutually beneficial partnerships.
Some business communities believe VR and VR clients are only looking for entry-level jobs. They think that job seekers with disabilities don’t have skills, education, and experience necessary to compete for higher-level jobs. Customized training is one way to change that perception while building employer relationships that can lead to opportunities for job seekers with disabilities.
The Workplace Innovation and Opportunities Act of 2014 included funds for vocational rehabilitation agencies to better cultivate relationships with businesses. Customized training can be a good building block for partnerships between VR agencies and employers. Agencies and employers can leverage an organization’s expertise when they join with community colleges to develop training curricula.
According to the 2014 report informing the legislation,
Customized training can change perceptions of VR. Agencies are seen as having a valuable candidate pool with the added benefit of expertise about accommodations or disability supports. Many customized training arrangements lead to immediate employment and provide decent wages as part of the model.
Customized training has branched out from traditional trade industries and has expanded into fields like healthcare, retail, IT, manufacturing, and hospitality. This, in turn, has led to an increase in quality employment opportunities for VR clients, so they have a chance to work in high-quality, well-paying jobs.
More about this resource:
A Customized Training Toolkit was created by Explore VR, which is a program within the Institute for Community Inclusion at UMASS Boston. ExploreVR offers vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies easy and convenient access to a range of VR research, related data, and tools for planning, evaluation, and decision-making.