Goodwill’s Supported Employment Programs (SEP) assist adults with the most significant disabilities to obtain and retain employment through the use of effective ongoing support services. The Supported Employment Program gives adults with disabilities the opportunity to work and earn valuable skills and wages. Work is performed in Goodwill’s retail stores throughout the region with a Goodwill job coach. Additional elements provided to all participants are work readiness training, case management, and a supportive work atmosphere.
In the DRS-funded program, participants receive vocational janitorial training, job development, and employment in a supported work environment with the main goal of transitioning into integrated community employment and working successfully on their own. Work readiness skills and job development are two major components that each participant will receive. There is no fee for individuals to enter this program.
- Work Readiness Skills Attainment: This program is designed to prepare participants for community employment. On the job training, communications skills, working within a team, time management skills, work culture, attendance, hygiene, work appropriate attire, and problem solving skills are skills that are being observed and measured for proficiency.
Evidence: Work Readiness Assessment –completed within the first 2 weeks of start date and again at 6 months to assess skill level
- Job Development Activities: This program emphasizes on teaching participants job seeking skills through weekly 1:1 job development activities. Some job activities that are addressed are; creating a resume, preparing work documents such as an ID card, filling out job applications, interest inventories, and performing mock interviews.
Evidence: Documented weekly case notes, mock interview forms, paper and electronic copy of Resume, completed job applications
- Supported Employment Supports:This program offers many supports and services to its participants. Some include; job coaching, job creation, job accommodations, building in natural supports, mentoring, and job site analysis. Once transited to a community job, on-going supports and on site job coaching are two key elements to a participant’s success.
Evidence: Policy and Procedure manual, documented weekly case notes, on site job coaching
- Employment Forms and New Hire Paperwork: This program is an employment program and participants learn to fill out and familiarize themselves with new hire paperwork such as the I-9 and W-4 forms during the Intake Meeting before participants start in the program.
Evidence: Completion of W-4 form and I-9 form
A three year CARF Accreditation was awarded to Goodwill for this program in 2018 and 2021 which is official recognition that the organization is guided by internationally recognized service standards and best practices.
DRS Supported Employment Scope of Services
Goodwill’s Supported Employment Program (SEP) is a supported work program operated by Goodwill Industries. Supported Employment is a service designed to assist adults with the most significant disabilities to obtain and retain employment through the use of effective ongoing support services.
There is no fee for individuals to enter into the program. The funding for this program is from the State of Illinois, Department of Human Services-Division of Rehabilitation Services and the Blazer Foundation.
In this program, participants receive vocational janitorial training, job development, and employment in a supported work environment. Participants will learn and earn and will work with their Job Coach to transition to community integrated employment. Participants work 4-6 hours a week performing janitorial duties and each participant will also receive one hour each week of one on one job development time with the Job Coach.
The program is at Goodwill’s Machesney Park, Sterling, and Freeport retail store locations.
Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois works with individuals and help them reach their goals collaboratively.