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RETURN TO WORK

RETURN TO WORK

The Community Re-Entry Program is based on the patients’ performance in the aforementioned situational assessments.  If the patients are successful in the situational assessments, then they can proceed into direct job placement for competitive or non-competitive employment.  The outcomes include the tangible paycheck, but the list of intangible outcomes is also important and include regaining a sense of identity and self-esteem as a contributing member of society, removal of the social stigma of being unemployed, restoration of a long lost sense of pride, freedom from social isolation, alleviating the root cause of the depression and anxiety, decreased stress, and improved personal relationships with significant others. 

Before pursuing the labor market, formal vocational evaluations are given the formally test the patients’ aptitudes, interests, skills and abilities.  Paper and pencil tests, along with situational work samples, are administered to identify and analyze transferable skills resulting in a viable job goal and vocational plan.  Local labor markets are surveyed to ensure the job goal is achievable and potential employers are identified.  These evaluations can be 3, 4 or 5 days long. 

The Career and Employment Specialist provides job readiness training to the patients to enhance job seeking, obtaining and retention skills.  Resumes and cover letters are developed, practice applications are completed, job matching and target employers are identified, personal job searches are taught and conducted, practice interviews are performed utilizing the 50 top interview questions, and professional dressing and grooming is reinforced.  Personal and Social Adjustment Training is also implemented to assist the patients with keeping the jobs.  This reinforces the principles taught in the situational assessments and finding the job is enough of a challenge, but keeping the job for an extended period of time is the true goal. 

The Career and Employment Specialist is a specialty salesperson building and maintaining working relationships with employers within the community.  National chains are targeted for patients returning to locations outside of the Houston area and they are able to transfer to a different store in their local area.  After employment is obtained, the patients are given a Job Coach to provide on-the-job support services ensuring the patient is making a successful transition into employment.  These efforts also provide education for the employer regarding the nature of the disabilities and encompass follow-up services to ensure the employees and employers are satisfied.  The Job Coach is the key to post-employment success.  Accomplishing this mission of the Vocational Services Program on an individual basis should naturally lead to productive, enjoyable quality of life, which could be non-competitive, avocational work on one end of the spectrum to competitive employment with an enterprise in the community on the other end.   The team members of the Vocational Services Program believe every patient possesses specific vocational interests, goals, and skillsets.  The mere fact that this facet of life is an element of the patients’ rehabilitation is the beauty of Nexus’ continuum of care.”