Career and Community Connections
Supported employment connects individuals with disabilities who are 16 years old and older who are seeking employment. We carefully match skills and talents with job opportunities. Together we obtain success. Sherwood strives not only to place people in jobs, but to ensure they are in jobs they love. We believe that every individual with a disability should have an opportunity for meaningful employment that uses their abilities to the highest level and offers a competitive wage. A job leads to increased economic independence, community integration and greater self-worth.
Supported employment helps businesses fulfill staffing needs while also making the difference in the lives of others by helping people gain valuable experiences and skills necessary to achieve financial stability.
Sherwood believes people with disabilities have the right to contribute and thrive in the community of their choice. Employment is so much more than a paycheck.
People with disabilities are 3 to 4 times more likely to live in poverty. In the US, approximately 75% of people with disabilities are unemployed. Employment builds self confidence, tools, skills and life experience. These developments empower individuals to positively engage in their communities and earn a meaningful paycheck.
For the individual:
Sherwood assists with the job search, seek employers, assess and train adults, and provide support for a smooth transition into the workplace. Employment specialists first assess the individual’s abilities, career goals and interests and then work with employers to find a successful fit for their unique abilities and skill-set. Sherwood’s employment specialists provide ongoing coaching to the employee and employer to ensure long-term success. The ultimate goal would be for an individual to be independent in the work place, but Sherwood has the ability to provide assistance as needed.
“It means a great deal to me to have a job. They’re great folks to work for.”
– Cody (Career and Community Connections Client)
Ashley and her mom, Vicki, are grateful for Sherwood's support in getting Ashley her first job.
How Sherwood helps:
Job Analysis: Sherwood works employers to clearly define a position. This includes defining the position’s responsibilities, skills needed, and expectations of quality and production.
On-the-Job Training: An experienced job coach provides on-site training until the new employee meets the employer’s standards. The coach will work with supervisors and co-workers to develop effective support strategies.
Systematic Evaluation: Sherwood follows-up with the employer as needed to ensure that the employee’s performance is meeting their standards.
Additional Training and Follow-Up: At the employer’s request, Sherwood can expand or refine job duties. A job coach provides additional employee training with ongoing support to both employee and employer.
Austin (left) is a proud member of the Seattle Mini team
Independence and Inclusion
At Sherwood, we see firsthand not only the happiness a job can bring someone with disabilities, but a sense of independence and inclusion as well.
"Having a job that (Jessica) enjoys makes her feel like she belongs, she's needed, she's valuable, and she's contributing. You can see that in how she stands taller, her smiles gets bigger and you hear it in her voice when she's at work or talking about her job. Employment gives Jessica a sense of purpose and feeling grown up. She feels like a legitimate, independent working adult... because she is. THIS is the tangible result of supported employment that is a win-win for everyone."
– Joy (Career and Community Connections Parent)
Learn a little more about Sherwood's Career and Community Connections Program, meet some program members and find out what Supported Employment looks like.
Sherwood knows that a more inclusive community is a stronger community. When an employer is invested in hiring people with disabilities they are saying yes to a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Sherwood employment specialists help match employers with qualified and eager job seekers. The goal is to find an employment opportunity that meets both the needs of the business and the individual. Our employment specialist will help with the training and on-boarding of their new employee. They also will help educate co-workers on effective communication skills specific to the employee. We continue to work with employers to ensure long-term success!
How your business benefits:
A more inclusive and diverse workplace
Improved employee morale
Longevity of employment
Dependable and driven employees
Posed community stature and customer loyalty
“Breanna makes a difference with her smile and her willingness to get the job done. She was a little timid at first but with the help of Gayle, our staff and our members, she has found her rhythm. She loves to engage with the kids and be a helpful hand wherever she is needed.”
- Candace, Director at The Marysville Boys & Girls Club
Breanna and her co-workers at The Marysville Boys & Girls Club.
If you are interested in learning more about Career and Community Connections Services or hiring someone with a disability,
please contact Tania Scott, Director of Career and Community Connections.
Thank You to our Supported Employers