Supported Employment

Through the Supported Employment Program, persons with disabilities are provided with individualized services to assist them in successfully obtaining and maintaining competitive employment. These services include job development, job search assistance and job coaching at the work site. Long term follow along services at the work site are also available.

Vocational Evaluation

The vocational evaluation program provides an individual with the opportunity to engage in Career exploration by trying out a variety of simulated jobs called work samples. Occupational areas represented in the evaluation include skilled trades, assembly, food service, environmental services, cashiering, general clerk, business administration, and informational technology. At the conclusion of the evaluation, the Vocational Evaluator prepares a final report profiling the individual’s strengths, needs and interests and makes recommendations for the next step in the vocational plan. The Evaluator meets with the individual and the support team to review the data collected and discuss recommendations. These recommendations may include moving into competitive employment, pursuing further education/vocational training, or skill development/work readiness programs.

Work Ready

The purpose of the Work Ready (WR) Program is to assist individuals who are on TANF to become self-sufficient. Work Ready assists individuals in gaining job skills as well as job placement. Throughout enrollment individuals are provided with case management services that not only connect them with community resources to assist in removing barriers but also assist in working on the soft skills that will make them more marketable to employers. There are two phases to WR, pre placement and post placement. Pre-placement is the phase where an individual participates in state approved activities, such as Community Service, Paid Work Experience, Education and Training and Job Search for a predetermined amount of hours each week. The individual remains in this phase until employment of 20 hours or more is obtained. Once employed for 20 or more hours the individual enters the post placement phase where they remain for at least 6 months. During the post placement phase the Service Coordinator continues to provide case management to assure the individual is transitioning positively into the work force as well as providing support and resources if necessary. Once an individual has worked 6 consecutive months they have successfully completed the program.


Skill Development Programs:

Work Adjustment Training

Work Adjustment is a short term paid work experience designed to help an individual develop basic soft skills needed to retain employment; including attendance, punctuality, productivity and work related social skills. Work adjustment can take place in the Production Workshop, the Life’sWork Cafeteria, on the Mobile Janitorial crew or in specialized areas within the Life’sWork facility.

Extended Employment

Extended Employment is a long term program to assist individuals in developing basic work skills and soft skills. This program takes place in the Production Workshop at Life’sWork. Individuals are paid according to their productivity as an incentive for increasing work speed.

Transitional Services

Transitional Service is a long term program that provides individuals the opportunity to develop their skills in a community work setting under the supervision of a Life’sWork staff person. These work sites, also known as enclaves, include the Gamma Sports Warehouse in Washington’s Landing, the Mobile Janitorial Crew, the PNC Western Loan Center and the Sewickley Greenhouse.

Community-Based Assessments (CBA)

Community-Based Assessments allow staff to assess the critical developmental steps that an individual may need before they can successfully be placed on a job. These developmental steps may include placement at an enclave, on the mobile crew or at an employer site. These experiences allow the individual to work under supervision with a group of individuals at a community site before being placed on a job. In addition, the information generated from Community-Based Assessments allows individuals to cultivate their skills and interests. The CBA also helps to provide a better understanding of the responsibilities required in a particular work setting, the actual work environment and the work culture; familiarize individuals with particular careers, jobs and employers; explore their interests and become more certain of their career choices; become more confident in their abilities to integrate in their community and work alongside their peers

Training Programs:

Customer Service Training Program

The Customer Service Training Program is a comprehensive, eight-week training and job placement experience. Located at Life’sWork of Western PA’s Uptown headquarters.The curriculum is aimed at helping participants to build and/or develop solid fundamental skills in the area of computer processing and customer service delivery. Participants are provided with an opportunity to receive formal instruction in the use of Microsoft’s most popular software packages, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. General use of the Internet as a research tool and communication via email is also learned. Each participant is additionally required to improve their keyboarding skills through daily practice using typing software.

During training, individuals explore the role and responsibilities of a CSR. Participants are walked through valuable customer service skills including courtesy, empathy, effective listening, questioning techniques, and proper telephone etiquette.

All participants enrolled in the course participate in weekly job placement activities which cover topics such
as effective job searching and interviewing. Each participant finishes the training with a completed resume
and cover letter.

It is an aggressive component of the program, and it’s what sets Connections apart. Maintaining a close working relationship with area employers is a key factor in helping participants to secure employment. Connections graduates have been offered employment or are currently working at companies including Direct Advantage Marketing, Campos Market Research, Dial America, PNC Bank, Xentel, NCO, and Citizens Bank.

Environmental Service Training Program

To teach essential job skills in the field of janitorial services, Life’sWork has designed a comprehensive eight-week Environmental Service Training Program that will be open to adults with disabilities, as well as youth who are at-risk, adjudicated and/or have a disability. Referral sources will include the Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities Base Service Units, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), Life’sWork’s Youth Initiatives and Life’sWork’s Business Services Division.

The program will encompass and support a comprehensive vocational curriculum that uses modern tools. The course content includes helping the participant to determine their job direction and/or vocational goal as well as assess their work skills and ability to perform the duties associated with this career. Safety practices, commercial cleaning techniques, floor care, building maintenance, use and care of equipment will also be addressed.
Because employment in this field is expected to grow 21 percent through the year 2014, job placement assistance is a critical part of the Environmental Service Training Program. According to Salary Expert website, the average salary of an Environmental Service Worker in Pittsburgh is $32,473, and each participant will be assigned to a Life’sWork Workforce Development Specialist to develop a resume and cover letter and aggressively search for a job.

The program content will be presented in a standard classroom, lecture-type setting, as well as a self-paced practical work experience format with hands-on training.

Accommodations will be made considering the needs of the trainee taking into consideration different learning styles and pace.