Via Employment Services - Community Employment
The Employment Process
Via helps consumers identify job interests and necessary supports that will guide the job search. Once a potential position is identified, Via’s employment consultants work closely with the prospective employee and employer to find the right job for a person with a disability and to provide the employer with someone whose skills benefit the company’s productivity, efficiency and profitability. Via provides job training and orientation, and support continues as long as is needed but typically becomes unnecessary as the employee becomes acclimated to their work situation and responsibilities.
Discovery is an active process of investigating an individuals work interests and passions in the work world. Discovery is about learning about how someone wants to spend their day making money. Discovery is about figuring out someone’s ideal conditions of employment.
The Ideal Conditions of Employment:
- Strengths, Interests, Supports, Contributions
- Relationships that matter & that help us get lots of ideas
- Discovery versus Assessment
- One Place leads to Another, One Person leads to Another, Family, Friends, Strangers, Acquaintances, Professionals
Developing Career Paths - Assessment, Training & Follow-up
At Via, we understand that every individual has unique needs. We work with each consumer to develop a program that will best suit those needs. Consumers, their families and caregivers are involved in the assessment process. A variety of products may be evaluated before a selection is made. Training is then provided to the individual and caregivers. Most importantly, Via consumers are not forgotten after service is delivered. Follow-up evaluation is critical to meet any changing needs.
Staff or co-workers are paid to assist an individual with:
- Job exploration - discovering their work interests and abilities
- Job development - finding a job matching those interests
- Job Coaching - helping learn the skills of a particular job
- Job Support - helping the worker and employer with issues of job performance in a way that helps assure on-going success at the job site
The program begins with community based assessments at actual job sites. Once a referral is made, an assessment of the individual’s passions, employment interests and supports is completed. Job Development occurs following a successful assessment. A Via employment specialist is assigned to the individual to help them find a job. Once a job is attained, Job Coaching is available from a Via coach. Skills such as transportation training, communicating with the boss and maintaining the job are taught in addition to learning the job.
Via provides a vocational assessment service to assist people with disabilities to determine their work abilities and interests. Assessments are done in the community at actual businesses to provide the opportunity to experience real community employment. Via staff can assist a person with a disability in pursuing funds for assessment services as well as the services recommended as a result of the assessment. Via’s goal is to complete the assessment from intake to team meeting within six weeks.
Via’s staff first interview the person with a disability as well as the family and staff who know them best to help decide the vocational areas to use for assessment. Typically, assessments are scheduled in three to four vocational areas for two to four days each, based on individual need and interest. Via’s assessment coordinators provide one-on-one supervision during the assessment period. Task analysis and systematic instruction are used. The assessment gives the person with a disability the opportunity to try different types of work to help make an informed choice of work. The assessment process also gives Via staff the opportunity to assess the person’s work and social skills, support needs, endurance, etc. When the assessments are completed, a team meeting is held to review the data to outline a plan.
Assessment sites in the Lehigh Valley include:
- Buza’s Greenhouse
- Delta Industries
- Easton Area Senior Center
- Federal Courthouse
- Guitar Villa
- Just Born, Inc.
- Kirkland Village
- Martin Guitar
- Radisson Hotel
- Shop Rite
- The Banana Factory
- Trains and Lanes
- Veteran’s Association Clinic
- Via Thrift Shops
A variety of assessment tasks and vocational experiences are available, including:
- Animal Care
- Customer Service
- Food Service
- Grocery Bagging
- Laundry Services
- Light Assembly
- Lobby Attendants
Via’s Job Developers take the time to match the employee with the employer. Prior to recommending a prospective employee, an extensive vocational assessment has taken place to determine the prospects work abilities and interests. Assessments are conducted in the community at actual businesses to provide the prospect the opportunity to experience real community employment.
Job Training & Coaching
Once a position is identified, Via provides a Job Coach specific to the employee. The Via Job Coach offers consultation and assistance to the employer and on-the-job orientation and training for the employee. This support continues as long as is needed, but typically becomes unnecessary as the employee becomes acclimated to the work situation and responsibilities. Via employment consultants and Job Coaches also remain available to employers for questions and help in the future.
For more information, contact:
Vicki Henshaw , Director of Employment Services
V.Henshaw@ViaNet.org | 610-317-8000 x472