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Photo of AbilityFirst participants who have developmental disabilities and are at jobs in the community

Employment Services – We are currently providing daily remote programming and alternate location services to keep our supported employees engaged and connected.

Job Development and Placement

In order for Job Development to be successful, it is important that the job developer partners with local businesses to gain an understanding of the organization’s goals and specific hiring needs. Once this is accomplished, the process continues by developing hiring solutions through the flexible process of Customized Employment. This process consists of matching the business needs with the individual’s strengths, interests, and capabilities through various assessment tools, interviews, internships, job shadowing and resume building.

The Job Developers work with individuals throughout the job search process to:

  • Create and Develop Cover Letters, Resumes, Portfolios, and ‘Thank You’ Letters
  • Complete paper or online applications/assessments
  • Present employment proposals to potential employers, and strategic marketing/networking on the individual’s behalf
  • Develop Interview Skills: Mock Interviews and Situational Interviewing
  • Provide Interview Support
  • Follow-up with employers on the individual’s behalf, or coaching the individual on follow-up procedures and techniques
  • Work with employers for recruitment, job customization, and placement

Job Coaching

Job Coaches provide on-the-job training at the business site by supporting the individual through coaching and mentoring. This ensures a successful transition into community employment, and helps to encourage job retention for the individual.

The Job Coach conducts on-board support and training through a process of systematic instruction, performance measurement, natural supports, and identifies any accommodations and adaptions if needed. This support will gradually be reduced overtime until the individual feels comfortable and becomes independent on the job.

Community Careers

This program focuses on the direction for an individual’s job search. Opportunities for exploration and self-discovery may include: job shadowing, interest assessment, and internship opportunities, leading to expanding community engagement and informed career choices. It is a time-limited program and may be used for individuals who are transitioning out of the work centers and exploring their options for community employment.

Project SEARCH

AbilityFirst is proud to provide employment supports to Project SEARCH interns at the Kaiser Administrative Offices in Pasadena.

The Project SEARCH model involves an extensive period of training and career exploration, innovative adaptations, long-term job coaching, and continuous feedback from teachers, job coaches, and employers. The cornerstone of Project SEARCH is a total workplace immersion with a host business and related agencies. Participants are on-site at the business location each day for a minimum of six hours. The partners provide consistent on-site staff, including a special education teacher and job coaches. Individual job development and placement occur based on the participant’s experience, strengths, and skills. Participants are given support with accommodations, assistive technology, and on-the-job coaching.

The Project SEARCH program model was developed at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 1996 and has been nationally duplicated more than 500 times in ten countries. Through this program, young adults develop the tools necessary for employment and skills needed for self-determination, management, and self-advocacy.

Youth Employment Programs

Student Services Work Experience is a work-based learning experience that offers students with disabilities who are in high school or a transition program the opportunity to explore work experiences in a variety of real-time work settings. The program is offered through the California State Department of Rehabilitation.

Paid Internship Programs

The Paid Internship Program assists individuals with developmental disabilities to gain work experience through an on-the-job training program, with the potential of gaining part or full-time employment with the business partner.

Through The Paid Internship Program, the individual has the opportunity to experience the work environment, and develop new skill sets. Based on this model, the individual becomes better equipped to make decisions when choosing their career path.

The scope of internship and length will be individualized. The optimal outcome from The Internship Program would be that an individual has a positive experience while forming a relationship with an employer, resulting in a job offer. The fundamental premise of the Paid Internship Program is to help the individual to make informed decisions and help them transition into full or part-time employment.

Program Contact Form


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