Vocational Supports

When people with intellectual and other kinds of developmental disabilities need Durham Center for Educationvocational training and employment support in the greater Hartford and New Haven counties, they are apt to be in touch with Connecticut Career Mentors. CCM provides custom occupational services that promote competitive job placements, training, and community-based situational assessments. Individuals with all kinds of special needs –those in high school seeking transition to work settings, those who are challenged by communication barriers or learning disabilities, those with autism and related autism-spectrum disabilities – receive career assistance ranging from job interest/aptitude assessment, to job training, to job placement and coaching. CCM staff find solutions that permit people to break down many of the walls that can prevent their meaningful and productive employment.

Within CCM, RSVP (Rehab Services and Vocational Programming) uses an individualized approach to its occupational services. It takes the time to review each individual’s personal history, interests, capabilities, skills, ideas, and feedback in order to create a written document that plans the direction of employment activities and establishes appropriate goal tracking. That document then serves to guide the direction of clients in their job search, career exploration, or any career assistance that are needed. Vocational professionals continue to reference this guide during the entire process of helping individuals transition into work opportunities in order to gain customer satisfaction and promote consistency of desired services.

Currently under the guidance of The Institute, CCM has developed from 50 years of past success in meeting the career assistance needs of people with disabilities or barriers to work. Recently to meet the changing needs of workers, CCM responded by initiating a comprehensive pilot program specifically designed for the needs of individuals with autism by promoting independence, social development, therapy, and vocational opportunities. This program has been hugely successful throughout the state of Connecticut. Recently CCM has heard a different call from clientele seeking specialized assistance in independent competitive work opportunities. In responding to those, we offer a program that includes independent, competitive work experiences and opportunities. But no matter what barrier individuals may have, CCM will review the case thoroughly, listen to ideas, and provide recommendations and a guideline for a thorough vocational plan.

Vocational assistance takes many forms, and entails a broad array of specific activities. Job Developers help individuals:

  • Prepare a professional resume
  • Prepare for successful job seeking
  • Locate job matches appropriate for an individual’s particular needs
  • Assist in the training of individuals while working
  • Assist with transportation needs
  • Provide training in on-the-job social skills and work behavior
  • Help improve work skills such as attention to detail, performance speed, and concentration
  • Arrange for job accommodations

If it is a Work Evaluation or Situational Assessment that best responds to the needs of an individual, an employment site that matches interests and abilities will be located and appropriate supports will be put into place to assure that the employee can experience a meaningful job experience, learn new work skills, make contacts, and become empowered within the job market. People supported by Community Career Mentors have been successfully employed in a wide variety of jobs throughout Connecticut, including:

  • Ames Department Store
  • Bruce Manufacturing
  • Compass Group North America Division
  • Cold Spring Commons Nursing Home
  • Puertoriquenisima WXPR 1550 AM
  • Southington Savings Bank
  • Holiday Inn
  • Big Y World Market
  • Prolab Nutrition
  • Firestone Building Products
  • Gold’s Gym
  • Ponderosa Steak House
  • Marshall’s Stores
  • The Hartford Insurance Company
“IPPI has provided a great service by supplementing our workforce and adding to the atmosphere of comradery within our company… The supervisors have always conducted themselves professionally and worked well with our staff. We look forward to…smiling faces, positive attitudes and their help with our work. I only wish all our employees were as willing and eager to work as your people…”

N. Casertano, owner, Casertano Greenhouses and Farms Inc.

To learn more about this program contact:
Gail Skrzypiec
Interim Project Director
Community and Residential Services
203.317.2700 Ext. 132

Click to view “Life’s New Journey”
a Caregivers Guide

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