Supported Employment

Supported Employment Services and Programming:

The Developmental Disabilities Administration mandates that every person centered plan have an employment component and that all adults obtain employment whenever possible. The Harford Center is committed to assisting adults in pursuing competitive, integrated employment in their chosen fields.

The Supported Employment Process:

Community Based Assessment
Helps identify the job seeker’s strengths, support his or her needs, provide training, and explore preferred environments. The job seeker will have the opportunity to sample and shadow areas of employment interest, match transferable skills to current job openings, and identify areas of support that may be filled with assistive technology. The assessment includes a summary of experiences, findings, and recommendations for facilitating success in the workplace.

​Pre-Employment
Individuals are exposed to many opportunities including volunteer work, short term paid contractual positions, and the discovery process.

Job classes and skill building  
Job coaches will instruct individuals in groups or individually on specific skills to maintain and secure employment, including, but not limited to:​Professional appearance, Professional decorum​, Wage and hour laws​, and Interviews and resumes.

Job Development Preparation and Job Development Supports
Job Development Preparation assists the job seeker in the creation of a resume, a cover letter, and a job development plan for his or her intended career path. Interview preparation and guidance is provided. We discuss what to expect, how to identifying company culture, and how to dress. We practice interview questions and formats. Following this service, the Harford Center works with the job seeker in identifying positions of interest, making inquiries, and applying to positions of his or her choice. In addition, “Job Sampling” and/or “Job Shadowing” may benefit the job seeker by allowing him or her to experience and try on the skills of a position or field of interest.

Interview Assistance
May be provided to assist the job seeker to further his or her success, provide advocacy to the employer, provide valuable feedback, and suggest accommodations for successful employment.

Short-term Job Coaching and Supported Employment for Individuals who are DDA Eligible
Job coaching helps the individual learn to be successful in his or her new job during training. We focus on skill work and workplace expectations and culture. Short-term job coaching can be provided on or off site to help the new employee maintain competitive employment.  For DDA eligible individuals, the Harford Center provides intensive job coaching supports that continue with a fading plan until the individual reaches stabilization in the performance of expected job duties. Supported employment with natural supports is an option that helps the worker to identify a mentorship, where coaching and development are provided by a colleague. This is an option for follow up extended services or for job sites where internal training is a preference.

Extended Services for Youth with Most Significant Disabilities
This service includes monitoring of success at the work site and providing assistance to eligible participants to maintain employment. A goal of this extended service if to identify natural supports and long-term funding sources to ensure success beyond 4 years or the age of 25.

The Harford Center is proud to offer a menu of career services to the eligible community members residing in Harford County. For further information on our supports or services, please contact Kelly Warnagiris at kwarnagiris@harfordcenter.org.

 ​