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Vocational Engagement Model: A Journey Into the Intersection of Different Disciplines to Reinvent the Job Placement Process

Imagine the moment where you are working in the field providing employment services for people with disabilities and realize that the structure, or lack thereof, has contributed to the ongoing lack of progress, Imagine that moment where you see other disciplines such as education and medical fields engaging in their services in a more effective manner that makes every day in your job seem chaotic and redundant. Finally, imagine that there was this illuminating moment where it seemed as if you may have found the answer to the question "Why can't we make the progress we so desperately want?" That is the origin and implementation of the Vocational Engagement Model.The Vocational Engagement Model (VEM) presents the intersection of different disciplines to rethink job placement services as they are offered to people with disabilities today. The model connects aspects of the medical, educational, and rehabilitation disciplines in a process to improve the skills of the people who seek assistance to find and keep employment. VEM transcends the traditional format for job placement services, as defined by state VR systems. It is designed to manage the job placement service and exemplify cost optimization and job-seeker engagement. VEM intends tomore fully engage the job seeker, their family and circle of support in the entire job search process;establish a "career quest" agreement on how services will be provided and establish the level of commitment and required activities for both the job seeker and career consultant;learn how to use a series of assessment instruments that will assist the career consultant to best counsel the job seeker with use of metacognitive skills;manage the job placement service both structurally and fiscally for cost optimization to minimize time from referral to placement, thereby facilitating personal engagement while managing the hours toward profitability; andestablish Vocational Engagement Teams (VET) to create peer support systems and maximize staff skill and supports, not unlike "rounds" in the medical model;The Vocational Engagement Model is the evolutionary change in the provision of job placement services. It encourages "guardrails" for staff to work within while retaining their own creativity. The end result is total personal engagement, management of the job placement process with true cost optimization.

--Nicholas A. Villani



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