Thursday, August 27, 2009

Discovering Interests and Talents

Job Seekers explore their interests, talents, capabilities, and support needs with the expertise and guidance of AtWork! professional Employment Consultants. During discovery they identify which interests and talents have the potential to lead to future employment opportunities. They also have the chance to “try on” various work activities through tours, volunteering and job shadowing.

• Exploration – Job seeker’s identify their dreams, goals, personal preferences, life experiences, and needs based on the complexities of their lives.
• Assessments – AtWork! Employment Consultants work with the individual and their support team to determine job appropriateness.
• Volunteering – Job seekers learn about work environments and experience work tasks that give them the chance to identify what they like to do and what work they find exciting and interesting.
• Job Tours – Job seekers tour actual employment sites that match the individual’s interests.
• Work Trials – Job seekers shadow an employee within a business, performing tasks and responsibilities, to get an in depth view of the job they expect and want to hold.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What is “Customized Employment”?

Customized Employment means individualizing the relationship between job seekers and employers in ways that meet the needs of both. It is based on a determination of the unique strengths, requirements, and interests of a person with a complex life. The process is designed to meet the workplace needs of the employer and the discrete tasks of the position. When a customized relationship is developed, a shared employment alliance results.

There are four steps to the process.
• Discovery: Job Seekers explore their interests, talents, capabilities, and support needs with the expertise and guidance of AtWork! professional Employment Consultants. During discovery job seekers identify which interests and talents have the potential to lead to future employment opportunities. Job Seekers also have the chance to “try on” various work activities through tours, volunteering and job shadowing.
• Job Development: Job seekers focus their efforts on finding their future job. AtWork! Employment Consultants, using their knowledge of the job applicant and the information developed during the Discovery Step, approach employers on behalf of the individual being served.
• Placement: A time for celebration! When it all comes together and the individual is offered a position that matches their needs and the employers needs, it is a time for congratulations.
• Retention: AtWork! Employment Consultants help the individual keep his or her new found job with on the job coaching and training. The length of time needed will vary depending on the individual’s support needs.

Visit the page jobseekers on this website to learn more about Customized Employment.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fewer Job Opportunities in Good and Bad Economies

Every day, people with disabilities can and do add value to America’s workplaces. However, in both good economic times and bad, people with disabilities have far fewer job opportunities than the general population. The knowledge, skills, and abilities employees bring to work each day are by far the assets that yield the most output over the long term. Organizations that know how to identify and recognize talent are most likely to succeed. Being inclusive of people with disabilities—in recruitment, retention, and advancement—can offer companies a competitive edge that will contribute to this success. At work it’s what people CAN do that matters. These economic challenges are an additional hurdle. But the biggest obstacle to placing people in jobs is negative stereotypes.

Sometimes workers with disabilities change a workplace for the better simply by their presence, even if their contribution appears small when measured against an employee who can do everything. Workers with disability bring a new diversity to the community…one that inspires us all to be courageous and find new ways to work together. To learn how visit Employers page on this website.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Social Responsibility: Do the right thing…Do the smart thing…Do the profitable thing.

Customers and employees support businesses that improve the quality of life of workers, their families, the community and society. Demonstrate your corporate social responsibility by employing people with disabilities, including youth, maturing workers, and disable veterans.

Value in the Marketplace
· Connect with a significant market segment
· Increase customer loyalty and brand trust
· Contribute to America’s global competitiveness and economic strength
Value in the Workplace
· Improve employee morale
· Leverage the unique experiences and skills of employees with disabilities – including disabled veterans
· Attract qualified candidates who value diversity

Visit the page Employers on this website to learn how you can access this untapped resource right here in our community.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Diversity: Expand Your Diversity Dividend

Disability adds another dimension to your diversity efforts, contributing to the development of unique and creative business solutions. Employees with disabilities come from all backgrounds and ages, and have varied skills and perspectives, adding value to your company.

Diverse Workplace
  • Achieve results and increase innovation, productivity and problem solving
  • Enhance diversity of your workforce with employees with disabilities
  • Improve employee morale
Diverse Marketplace
  • Attract a broader customer base
  • Meet the needs of the expanding global market

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Marketing: Access new marketing opportunities

Customers with disabilities and their families, friends and associates represent a trillion dollar market segment. They, like other market segments, purchase products and services from companies that best meet their needs. A large number of Americans also say they prefer to patronize businesses that hire people with disabilities. Increase your opportunity to gain a lasting customer base.

Capitalizing on New Market Opportunities
· Mirror the market to attract wider customer base
· Increase your market share
Developing New Products and Services
· Respond to marketplace needs
· Lead your market
Increase profitability

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Innovation is key to business success

Employees with disabilities bring unique experiences and understanding that transform a workplace and enhance products and services. As part of your team, employees with disabilities help build your business and can lead your company into the future.

Workplace Innovation
· Create more efficient and effective business processes
· Develop and implement management strategies to attract and retain qualified talent
· Use technology in new ways to increase productivity
Product and Service Innovation
· Stimulate new product and service development through disability-inclusive diverse teams
· Customize products and services to increase profitability
Defining the Future
· Foster the development of next-generation products and services

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Innovation: Diverse Issues, Innovative Solutions

Did you know that many of today's hottest technologies were first developed for people with disabilities? Take text messaging. Long used by the deaf community, it’s an increasingly popular communication tool for everyone. Similarly, the technology used to improve wheelchairs now powers people on Segways® up and down city streets.

What powered these ideas was innovative thinking - the same kind of thinking that drives business success. To effectively compete, businesses of all sizes need employees who can think outside of the proverbial box, especially in today's difficult economic environment. And more and more employers are discovering a ready source for such talent - people with disabilities. On a daily basis, people with disabilities must think divergently about how to tackle challenges and get things done. At work, this translates into innovation.

A few years ago, when Walgreens Co. adjusted the technology used in one of its distribution centers to make it easier to use for employees with disabilities, it quickly found that the change actually made everyone more productive. "We got rid of the keyboards. Replaced those with touch screens," a company representative said. "And guess what we discovered? This makes it better for everyone."Of course, innovation isn’t always about technology. When Michigan-based A & F Wood Products, Inc. worked with an employee with a visual impairment to reorganize a workstation for optimal productivity, the company found that the new layout made more sense for all employees. Sometimes the most innovative ideas are the simplest—all that’s needed is a fresh perspective.

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