Little City is one of 6 agencies in the State of Illinois to be awarded a Customized Employment (CE) contract through the Division of Rehabilitation Services for FY21.
> CE is an approach to hiring, retention, and return to work that ties the strengths, conditions, and interests of a job candidate or employee to the business needs of an employer.
> CE provides greater employee satisfaction and productivity, among other benefits, bringing better retention and profitability for employers.
> CE can bring people from diverse populations, including those with disabilities, into the workplace to contribute their untapped talents to businesses.
The Customized Employment process has 4 essential components:
1. DISCOVERY: Gathering information from the job seeker and the CE support team (a group of multiple partners, including the employment specialist who all jointly take some responsibility for the job seeker’s needs; however, the job seeker is the ultimate decision-maker) to determine the job seeker’s interests, skills, and preferences related to potential employment.
2. JOB SEARCH PLANNING: Using the information learned about an individual job seeker in Discovery to develop a plan toward a meaningful employment, determine a list of potential employers, and conduct an analysis of benefits.
3. JOB DEVELOPMENT AND NEGOTIATION: Working collaboratively with the individual and the employer to negotiate a customized job; the provision of supports; and the terms of employment that will match the individual’s interests, skills, conditions necessary for success, and specific contributions, and will fill the unmet needs of an employer.
4. POST-EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT: Setting up on-going post-employment supports and monitoring the employment relationship to ensure satisfaction of both the individual and the employer.
Because the process aligns an individual’s uniquely personal talents, skill set and availability with a position specifically negotiated for him/her,
the Customized Employment model functions with a presumption of work readiness.
Customized Employment can only be successful if the job seeker is treated as an individual who is free to make choices about his/her life’s direction;
is afforded respect and dignity; is assumed to have competencies that, if not readily obvious, can be discovered; is given access in natural settings with minimal intrusion;
and is provided with high quality employment opportunities and services.
Customized Employment helps job seekers and employers to:
>Meet longstanding or newly recognized needs. Unbundle tasks and recombine them to best use employees’ skills, such as to refocus on primary tasks.
> Apply particular skills to tasks that need more assistance or productivity.
> It can include:
Job sharing: Two or more people share the responsibilities and tasks of a single position based on their respective strengths, skills, and interests while meeting workplace needs.
Job creation: Work tasks that need to be done but are not getting
> Individuals engaged in the CE process through Little City are paired with a Job Developer who provides 1:1 supports and services throughout the duration of the case.
> Little City’s talented Employment First team includes staff certified as Employment Support Professionals and a Program Leader who is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.
> Little City’s Employment First division is seeking candidates for Customized Employment.
“Deborah has made tremendous progress since joining the Employee Development Services Program in August. She has been so open to building employment skills and learning new ways of relating to people. It’s not always been easy for her, but her enthusiasm for finding her first job in the community has carried her through and kept her focused. She’s now been working at TopGolf for about a month and is doing well. She is so proud of herself, and we are too! She’s worked hard for this big achievement!”
– Lori Palmer Kane, Employee Development Services Coordinator