Employment First is a concept to facilitate the full inclusion of individuals with varying degrees of abilities in the workplace and in the community. The Employment First Task Force works in partnership with the TennesseeWorks Partnership. Click here
The TennesseeWorks partnership is committed to increasing employment opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities in our state. Together, we are working to implement policy and systems changes that make competitive employment the first and desired choice for every Tennessean. This section of our site should be the go-to resource for policymakers and disability professionals wanting to join us in changing the employment landscape for Tennesseans with disabilities. Click here to read more about the TennesseeWorks Partnership.
New! Inﬂuencing Changes in State Policy and Practice with Data on Subminimum Wages
New! Guidance on How to Obtain Data on the Use of Subminimum Wages Within a State to Inform Systems Change Activities
New! Provider Transformation from a Rural Perspective
New! Organizational Transformation: From Workshops to Community Employment II
2016 Expect Employment Report
Fact Sheet: How Can Job Developers Increase Their Success?
Guide for Provider Transformation to an Employment First Service Model
Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE) Flyer on National Professional Certification (CESP)
2015 Expect Employment Report
Info Sheet on Federal Rule HCBS Settings Info Sheet
Achieving Best Practice in Employment Supports: Defining Measures of Effectiveness
- “I Want to Work” Guide and Workbook. Using this Guide and Workbook, participants and their supportive staff, who provide insight and information to assist each person, discover possible employment goals and the needed supports available to attain those goals. An additional session has recently been added; parents and/or Guardians are invited. During this session, each completer receives a complete resume’, a profile, and Certificate of Completion. Ideally, a Benefits Specialist presents about benefits to work to allay fears and increase family buy-in. With these new tools and clearer employment goals in hand, revisiting the VR counselor is the next step towards employment. Contact Gary Smith and Denise Kirk for more information on implementation. See contact info below:
- Thought Sauce: Hot Ideas for Cool Employment
- Effective Training for Employment Consultants: Job Development and Support Strategies
- Introduction to Community Life Engagement
- The Florida Rural Routes to Employment Replication Manual
- Equipped for the Future Courses: A work and soft skills curriculum.
- Research Brief: What is Discovery? This brief uses a question-and-answer format to present preliminary findings from a project that defines the components of customized employment.
- Britt Henderson Workshop Series. This annual series of educator workshops provides training focused on innovative evidence-based practices to improve the quality of education for students with diverse learning needs.
- Organizational Transformation – From Workshops to Community Employment (MA UCEDD/LEND) The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Advancing Employment for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (ThinkWork) recently posted a video, Organizational Transformation: From Workshops to Community Employment, the latest in the 44 Webinar series. Provider agencies across the country are transitioning from segregated “sheltered” workshops to integrated community employment options for people with disabilities. This process of organizational transformation can be both exciting and challenging for provider staff and the people they serve. The video covers findings from a panel of experts who examined six characteristics considered essential for provider transformation, as well as one organization’s experience in making this transition.
- AMP’s Top Ten Tips for Engaging with Young People provides advice for service providers and others on how to engage successfully with youth. It includes specific examples to illustrate both effective and ineffective styles of communication. This project is also supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Important Systems Change Documents
- Expect Employment Report. On October 6th of 2015, the Task Force presented Governor Haslam with an official copy of a report providing an overview of progress made in expanding integrated and competitive employment over the past year while outlining a set of goals to pursue over the next year.
- Partnerships in Employment (PIE) Benchmarking Toolkit. This toolkit is designed to provide guidance on how to use currently available national and state-level aggregate data sets to weave together a picture of the employment outcomes of transition-age youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) Technical Circular. In 2014, the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) issued a circular detailing the legislation behind vocational rehabilitation (VR) transition services. The circular addresses best practices in transition and VR, including collaboration between VR and schools, the VR application and eligibility process, and potential services that may be provided through VR during transition.
- Employment First Three-Year Strategic Plan. The Governor’s Employment First Task Force has unveiled a Three-Year Strategic Plan outlining a vision for the state on improving employment outcomes for Tennesseans with disabilities. The Plan includes five strategic goals and identified steps towards achieving those goals over the next three years.
- Partnerships in Employment (PIE) Emerging Practices in Transition. This series of documents have been developed to chronicle how PIE grantee states are making change under the elements of the High Performing States Transition model. In October 2011, the Administration on Developmental Disabilities awarded grants to lead agencies in six states: California, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, and Wisconsin. Two additional states, Alaska and Tennessee (TennesseeWorks), received grants in October 2012.
- Fact Sheet on Proposed Agreement Over Oregon Supported Employment. On September 8, 2015, the U.S. Justice Department announced that it has entered into a proposed settlement with the state of Oregon that will resolve alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In 2012, the department found that Oregon significantly over-relied on segregated employment services to the exclusion of integrated service options.