This series, Employment 101, will give a brief overview of Vista's philosophy and process for approaching vocational training.
Vista believes that everyone can be employed in some way and that everyone can reach their full potential. Our strategy for employment success has three steps: build a general foundation of independence, cultivate vocational readiness through job development and training sites, and prepare students to showcase their abilities during the hiring process.
Part II: Job Development and Training Sites
After building a foundation of general independence skills, students move on to the second step on the path to employment by beginning job site training and job development. Students work with job developers in small groups and one-on-one sessions to determine their strengths and potential for growth, talk through how to present themselves and act while at work, and explore areas of interest for their careers. Often, this process involves empowering the student to make their own career choices and expand their thinking. John Brown, one of the Job Developers at Vista, says, “Some students initially struggle to recognize their own passions or strengths, which can be turned into a career path. We ask the students what they want to pursue, so we are supporting their employment journeys rather than making decisions for them.”
Vista's Ventures Business Services offers offers employment or job training site opportunities in commercial cleaning, reception, fulfillment and property care
Job sites are one way for students to see if their interests could turn into a career. Students work with job coaches and their supervisors at job sites to gain employment experience and develop their skills. Vista has numerous partnerships with employers along the Connecticut shoreline to offer a variety of job site opportunities to students, depending on the student’s interests. In addition to Vista’s retail store, Creations, Vista has a second social enterprise designed to offer employment opportunities to students, Ventures Business Services. Ventures is designed to give students the chance to explore a variety of employment opportunities while working with a team specifically trained to engage with individuals with disabilities. Students at their job sites can practice in fulfillment, commercial cleaning, property maintenance or as a receptionist. Ultimately, the student chooses a career direction and moves onto the next step, applying for positions.
Stay tuned for Part III: The Hiring Process!
To learn more about Vista’s Employment Services, visit: www.vistalifeinnovations.org/programs-services/work