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.
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.
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 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 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)
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.