One of the key functions of the Youth Employment Specialist is to teach pre-employment transition topics at local high schools using a curriculum for 9-12 grade students in a structured and nurturing environment. Another aspect of this position is to work with employers and job seekers to ensure an effective job match. Job development duties require planned and cold calls to local businesses to establish a database of prospective employers and identify employment opportunities, as well as frequent contact with participants seeking employment. The key focus of the youth employment specialist is to provide life skills, employability skills and employment opportunities to individuals with mental, physical, or emotional disabilities.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Possession of at least a bachelor’s degree with a major in education, social work, marketing or a related field. Substantial similar experience could be considered in lieu of a degree. Experience in teaching or working with people with disabilities. Experience with community outreach and/or business relations. Must possess the ability to communicate effectively in writing and speech and be able to complete necessary reports. Travel is required for this position; therefore eligible candidates must possess a valid driver’s license, and have an acceptable driving record as well as a reliable vehicle.
PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS: Familiarity with diverse cultures. Knowledge and application of work models such as customized employment, supported employment, and competitive employment. Knowledge of community organizations and services available. Experience in outside sales or employment services. Ability to obtain the cooperation of employers, educators and others, and the ability to work with professional and technical personnel in a particular area of employment. Ability to maintain favorable public relations.
- Educate and guide students and potentially eligible students with current IEP’s and 504 plans in research and knowledge of post-secondary interests. This may include college and work leading to IEP postsecondary goals and congruent employment goals for MRS IPE (Individual Plan of Employment).
- Establish relationships with local employers so students can explore careers of interest through job shadows, internships, and unpaid work experiences.
- Develop interest related work experiences in the students’ local communities.
- Teach students their rights and responsibilities utilizing knowledge of ADA and IDEA.
- Encourage self-advocacy and self-determination activities.
- Establish relationships with adult agencies for informational and referral purposes.
- Connect students with community resources such as MRS, CMH, MI Works! and others.
- Develop a database of prospective employers and available positions. Make contacts with prospects in compliance with established targets. Maintain a log of employer contacts, job openings and opportunities.
- Attend various community meetings and functions and participate in networking opportunities.
- Develop employment leads to the placement stage, through job site analysis, review of job descriptions, and identifying the best employer/employee match. Duties include individual and enclave placements, as well as making referrals of contract opportunities to appropriate staff.
- Provide hands-on training in job seeking and job keeping skills as assigned. Provide individualized assistance with resume development or application completion, preparing for job interviews, arranging for supports necessary to obtain and maintain employment.
- Communicate benefits and incentives for employers to hire people with disabilities.
- Conduct follow-up activities to track job retention and ensure employee/employer satisfaction.
- Work with counselors, employers and other partners to develop work experiences for participants.
- Meet established targets for placement and retention.
MRS Functions, as assigned:
- Develop and maintain referral relationships as a liaison to promote cooperative services, specifically with referred MAISD transition participants.
- Coordinates and conducts MRS orientation for MAISD transition students.
- Complete the gathering of documentation from various sources to assist MRS staff with the intake process.
- Gathers general vocational information and provides this information to MRS staff.
- Provide follow-up service to MAISD transition participants by monitoring and documenting progress towards employment.
- Prepare, maintain, and submit documents of service provided within compliance with MRS timelines and quality standards.
- Completion of vocational and job readiness assessments as assigned.
- Develop and provide job club services for assigned students. Job club to include classroom training and on the job evaluations at various developed community sites.
- Assume responsibility for the health and safety of participants, self and others, including training and enforcement of safety rules and regulations.
- Prepare and submit reports, forms, and records in compliance with agency timelines, policies and procedures.
- Serve as an advocate for persons receiving services by assuring rights and confidentiality are protected in accordance with agency policy.
- Perform related work as assigned.