The Employment Specialist is responsible for implementing vocational training, social-enterprise, and community employment opportunities for their assigned Easterseals Academy. In collaboration with the School, the Employment Specialist researches, develops, creates, and implements employment and vocational training opportunities for students and clients with disabilities. In addition, the Employment Specialist works with students, families, community partners, post school service providers, governmental agencies, and employers to execute this work, while ensuring services are aligned to students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). The Employment Specialist uses a variety of tools to engage students and clients in social-enterprise and community employment opportunities and monitors the quality of implementation against specific accountability measures.
Implement vocational training and employment services at assigned Easterseals Academy.
Assess prospective student/client interns or employees using defined tools to develop plans for increasing each individual’s skills across employment domains and connecting them with opportunities aligned to their interests and strengths.
Integrate students/clients into day-to-day operations of all employment services.
Provide direct supervision and training for students participating in site-based work experiences, social-enterprise work, and community-based employment opportunities.
Participate in regular in-person meetings and conference calls with Employment Coordinator and inter-school employment team.
Act as direct supervisor of assigned Job Coach(s) and conduct timely evaluations.
Schedule, attend, and conduct regular meetings with onsite employment team.
Maintain regular communication with post-secondary team, attend meetings.
Align focus of work with the needs of transition aged students.
Design schedules and delegate tasks for Associates to meet social-enterprise production needs.
Maintain ongoing communication with current and prospective customers and business partners.
Research, plan and participate in networking and community outreach events to promote employment services.
Assist in implementation of integrated marketing communications plans for the social-enterprise and community employment opportunities in collaboration with the Communications department.
Implement all processes, procedures, and best practices in vocational training and employment opportunities aligned to research and evidence-based practices.
Observe students and relevant staff during work time at job sites or community locations and offer feedback, consultation, and supports to improve performance.
Implement Travel Training and Travel Education services as needed for students/clients based on individual needs.
Participate in regularly scheduled team meetings for staff providing opportunities through employment services.
Manage quality assurance and control processes.
Effectively maintain and track budget for assigned aspects of employment services.
Assist in co-authoring grant applications or secure additional funding opportunities for equipment donations and program expansion.
Participate in regular outside trainings directly related to serving students with disabilities, particularly those diagnosed with autism, and related to the management of a business or micro-enterprise.
Participate in or provide professional development and training to agency staff and, when relevant, outside participants, on serving students with disabilities, particularly those diagnosed with autism, via community employment or micro-enterprise models.
All other duties as assigned.
High School Diploma or GED required.
Associate or Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education, Vocational Rehabilitation or related field highly preferred.
Certification as a Paraprofessional (ISBE) required.
Minimum two years’ experience providing services to persons with intellectual and other development disabilities.
Experience in business and/or marketing preferred.
Experience using common technology applications and productivity software preferred.
Knowledge of evidence-based practices in the field of Autism services and school-to-work transition services.
Knowledge of labor laws.
Ability to promote and encourage parental involvement and participation in the employment process.
Valid driver’s license.
Must have or be able to obtain School Bus Permit endorsement.
Must be able to drive to various locations for the purposes of transporting students, picking up and dropping off supplies, and attending meetings.
Ability to promote and encourage involvement and participation in the employment process for the individuals with disabilities and their respective support networks.
Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with internal and external partners.
Ability to use data tracking systems and utilize various software programs for project and program efficiency.
Demonstrated ability to work effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and to cultivate an atmosphere of cultural responsiveness, respect, and teamwork.
Excellent interpersonal, organizational, verbal and written communication skills.
Ability to multi-task in a high stress and fast-paced environment.
Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.
Ability to perform all functions necessary to obtain and maintain certification in agency required crisis prevention and intervention training and CPR.
ADA: Easterseals will make reasonable accommodations in compliance with the Americans with Disability Act of 1990. Unless exempted by the Americans with Disabilities Act, all persons hired for this position are required to possess the ability to perform the physical tasks necessary to treat clients, i.e., bending, floor-sitting, etc., as well as to have the ability to lift up to 50 pounds frequently.
Easterseals changes the way the world defines and views disabilities by making positive, profound differences in peoples' lives every day. If you are passionate about what you do, then we'd love to hear from you. Our talented, diverse and agile workforce is the cornerstone of what we do day-in and day-out, which is why we hire the best in the market. We hope you will be one of them.