As part of our strategic commitment to providing community-based employment as the option of first choice, Ardmore offers job development, placement, career development, counseling, supervision, training, and support, through both DDA and DORS funding. We have developed plans to transition people out of the sheltered workshop to regular paid employment at minimum wage or better, employee-owned businesses, or to a mix of employment, volunteerism, and activities designed around each individual’s talents, interests and skills.
Our Team and Approach
Customized Employment is a team-based approach that begins with each individual person we support. Ardmore’s team works to get to know each person through a process called Discovering Personal Genius™ (DPG)*. The team utilizes tools from this process that may include: conducting a home visit, interviewing significant people in the person’s life, verifying a person’s skills while also confirming their interests, and neighborhood mapping of local businesses and/or resources. With this gathered information, the team is able to identify Vocational Themes™, which are relevant to the person. After the three themes are established, Ardmore’s team is able to seek out community members who share similar themes.
Informal informational interviews are conducted between the job-seeker and different community members who hold decision-making positions with small local businesses. Paid positions oftentimes naturally emerge through this process. Taking this approach circumvents the traditional approach which frequently leads to disappointment for people who have little to no paid work experience.
Our Customized Employment Team is comprised of four support positions:
- Team Leader - Responsible for team leadership, oversight, as well as, case management
- Employment Consultant - Responsible for actively working alongside the people we support until a paid position has been secured that meets the person’s needs
- Facilitator - Responsible for assisting the Employment Consultants throughout the process and for providing initial and ongoing job supports to people once a position has been secured
- Community Support Specialists - Responsible for supporting people day-to-day in seeking volunteer opportunities and in other career exploration activities
*Discovering Personal Genius and Vocational Themes are trademarked strategies of Griffin-Hammis Associates, LLC.