Supported Employment: Vocational/Social Skills Training (VSST)
VSST is a major component of SE program to promote the development of appropriate work abilities, behaviors and job retention skills in order to meet day-to-day demands of community employment. The training uses classroom instruction, interactive computer software, group discussions, and volunteering at community employment sites and in-house. The curriculum is modified to meet individual needs.
The classroom training also includes the following:
- Communication Skills
- Working with Supervisors and Co-workers (JSST)
- Work Responsibilities
- Interview Skills
- Job Seeking Skills
- Basic Literacy and Computer Skills
Under the CSC Supported Employment program, individuals are trained by qualified professionals. Participants learn a skill/trade and become competent wage earners.
Vocational Evaluation Services
There are many factors that influence an individual’s success in identifying, and obtaining, the job of their choice.
It is only through an individualized and systematic process that viable vocational options can be identified, and realistic employment goals developed. Successfully implementing this process on behalf of the individuals we support is the primary objective of CSC’s Vocational Evaluation Services. For some, a preliminary assessment of assistive technology needs might be appropriate, while, for others, an assessment of functional skills or of prior work experience might be what is needed. CSC’s job coaches and job developers play a key role in this discovery process, and they have a demonstrated record of success in helping individuals identify realistic job opportunities or employment barriers; in understanding assessment results; and in translating those results into appropriate employment goals.
CSC’s cartridge project exists through the operation of Cartridge King of Greater Baltimore. Cartridge King has an innovative way to increase our individuals’ independence through this supported employment endeavor. Cartridge King of Greater Baltimore re-manufactures and markets superb quality ink and toner cartridges for copiers, printers, fax machines and all-in-one printers. We thoroughly train our members to re-manufacture wide varieties of cartridges. All major imaging components are replaced with top quality parts made in the U.S., and each cartridge is carefully inspected. Our cartridges provide superior quality, big savings, and competitive pricing. In addition, the cartridge project provides employment, job skills and experience, steady income and greater independence for individuals with disabilities.
CSC’s pen making project is a very popular venture. This supported employment project is an innovative way for individuals to learn a unique trade while gaining the independence and self-sufficiency of maintaining job skills. The craft of pen making works to advance various skills of the participant while creating productive and fruitful resources. The individuals involved receive full and thorough training of the process and always have available job coaches on site. The beautifully crafted pens reflect unique and creative design while maintaining superb functionality and quality. These high-quality pens are sold after production as another supported employment resource for the individuals in our program.
Arts and Crafts Project
It has been said that art is known to soothe the soul and open the mind. Center for Social Change prides itself in providing the opportunity for its members to express and embrace their originality. The Arts & Crafts Special Project is an initiative of supported employment that focuses on the prospects of self-expression and creativity. The program works to develop valuable developmental skills (mental and visual), while supplying its members with a fun and resourceful escape. The members work on a variety of artistic projects with the assistance and guidance of a fine arts coach. The arts and crafts project teaches individuals new skills and can provide them with another outlet and source of income. Many of the created projects are displayed and sold as another means to develop positive resources and to help advance individuals as productive members of the community.
Candle Making ProjectCSC’s special project of candle making is an innovative way for individuals to learn a valuable trade while partaking in a relaxing and artistic venture. Individuals truly develop their mental skill level through the required concentration and creativity that the process entails. The procedure of candle making is very tranquil and soothing, which is very beneficial for mental health. The members of this project artistically express themselves through the unique designs of the candles. In addition, the popularity of the candle industry makes the project venture a lucrative and positive employment option. The artistically created candles are sold after production as another supported employment resource for the individuals in our program.
Vending Machine Project
CSC’s vending project is a supported employment venture that truly grants its individuals valuable job skills and experience. The involved participants visit locations with assigned job coaches to maintain and take stock of CSC-owned machines that are placed at various locations. Each individual receives one-on-one training to ensure their level of comfort with this “field” opportunity. This special project definitely gives the employees a new source of personal growth, independence, and freedom while improving the quality of life for program members.
Volunteers have long played a role in assisting CSC in accomplishing its mission to provide the resources that the individuals we support need to live healthy, safe and valued lives. Volunteers typically provide supports in CSC’s day programs, assisting individuals search for jobs, prepare for job interviews, write resumes, learn skills required for successful integration into the work environment, or learn life skills. Volunteers also assist at many of the special activities and celebrations at CSC, including the Annual Picnic, annual Holiday Party, and the special November 8th celebration. Many of CSC’s volunteers come from one of the local community colleges with whom CSC has developed close relationships, while others come from the community directly.