LVCIL offers innovative vocational services for young adults with disabilities through the Career Path program in Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon and Monroe counties.
The Career Path program matches qualified and motivated young adults with disabilities to employment opportunities in the Lehigh Valley. The program is designed specifically for young adults who:
- Want to learn workplace and life skills
- Are eligible or are currently receiving services through OVR
The program provides future employees with the skills needed to succeed on-the-job, including workplace skills development, such as problem solving, teamwork and customer service, assessments, job coaching, and intensive case management. Program components include:
- Skills Training (8 weeks): Young adults participate in group activities, seminars, trainings, and community work experiences. Participants attend the program at LVCIL offices every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8:30 am-3:00 pm. Occasional work experience opportunities occur on Mondays and Tuesdays, but these are voluntary and planned in advance
- Vocational Assessments (Approx. 2 months): Vocational assessments are planned work experiences in which a participant goes to a worksite with a vocational coach and tries out a job for a few hours. The goal is usually to complete 2 or 3 vocational assessments over the span of two months, but this can take longer depending on the type of assessments. These vocational assessments are scheduled in advance, and Career Path staff can and will provide transportation to and from the worksite
- Job Development (No timetable): After all of the vocational assessments are complete, the participant, Career Path staff and other supports meet to discuss the assessments and develop a plan to pursue specific jobs. Once this meeting occurs, staff will work one-on-one with participants to pursue competitive employment opportunities that meet the participant's goals. There is no standard length of time it takes to find a job. It all depends on the participant's goals and the availability of appropriate opportunities in the community
- Job Coaching (90 days): Once a job is obtained, Career Path staff will support each participant on the job on an as-needed basis for the first 90 days of employment. For example, a vocational coach may support a person for every minute of his or her first five days on the job. However, as each participant learns his or her job and becomes ready to work more independently, the staff will spend less and less time with him or her. Hence, the goal is to become as independent as possible on the job
- Follow Along (No timetable): Once the 90 days are complete, it is sometimes possible for staff to continue to visit participants on the job once or twice a month to ensure success. This service is dependent on procuring funding. This service allows staff to maintain contact with a participant and to step in as needed to help with any issues that may arise on the job (e.g. promotions, training, etc.)
*Please note: Participants may not take part in all components of the program. Eligibility for each component is determined by the participant's goals and/or needs, and availability of funding.
In addition, young adults in the Skills Training component of the program also take part in a person-centered planning. This meeting is focused completely on the young adult, and it is an effort to establish the young adult's goals and a clear plan (short and long-term) to achieve those goals.
For more information on eligibility, or general questions about the program, please contact 610-770-9781 ext. 125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Outreach to Employers
An additional component of the Career Path program is educating employers in the Lehigh Valley on the benefits of hiring people with disabilities. If you are an employer, consider these facts:
- Employees with disabilities have a far lower one-year attrition rate than the general population
- Candidates can be trained on site by Vocational Coaches, at no cost to employers
- Career Path staff will match you with job candidates who meet your specific needs
- Vocational coaches will supplement new employees' work to ensure productivity during initial training
- Career Path staff will provide on-site support to you and the participant
We want to work with you! If you are an employer, business, organization, or educational facility in the Lehigh Valley and are interested in hiring a dedicated, long-term employee, please contact 610-770-9781 ext. 125 or email email@example.com.
The Career Path program was established in 2011 through a grant from the Office of Vocational Rehabilitaiton (OVR). The program's exapansion into Carbon and Monroe counties was made possible through a grant from OVR, as well.