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Customized Employment

The customized employment process is a flexible blend of strategies, services, and supports designed to increase employment options for job seekers with complex needs through voluntary negotiation of the employment relationship. The job seeker is the primary source of information and drives the customized employment process. The materials in this section define, describe, and further illustrate the process of customized employment.

Customized Employment: Introduction

The customized employment process is a flexible blend of strategies, services, and supports designed to increase employment options for job seekers with complex needs through voluntary negotiation of the employment relationship. The job seeker is the primary source of information and drives the customized employment process. The materials in this section define, describe, and further illustrate the process of customized employment.

Job seeker assessment & exploration

Time spent engaging with the job seeker to explore their unique needs, abilities, and interests, as well as their complexities, is essential to establishing successful employment. Unlike traditional testing or standardized assessment, customized employment engages the job seeker in controlling the planning process and captures their preferences and connections in the community. The job seeker selects friends, family, and colleagues to participate in the process so that they can share positive perspectives and potential connections to employment opportunities.

Customized planning

Information from the exploration process is the foundation for customized employment planning. The customized employment planning process should result in a blueprint for the job search. There are also numerous tools - including profiles, portfolios, and other creative means - that can be used to capture, organize, and represent the information that was collected during exploration.

Employer negotiations

An essential element in customized employment is negotiating job duties and employee expectations to align the skills and interests of a job seeker to an employer's needs. This negotiation results in a job description that depicts a customized relationship between employer and employee. Options to customize a job description include job carving, negotiating a job description, job creation, and job sharing. Other points of potential negotiation include job supports, hours or location of the job, and specifics of supervision.

Customized Entrepreneurship

For many career seekers, the best means of contributing to the marketplace is not a standard or customized employment position, but rather by starting a business. Self-employment allows for the ultimate degree of customization based on the career-seeker's skills and the needs of potential customers. Customized entrepreneurship can take the form of a standard small business, a micro-enterprise, or a business within a business that exists symbiotically with an existing enterprise.

Funding

Individual accounts are comprised of one or more sources of employment service dollars that are dedicated to the individual and their employment plan. Fundamental to this funding approach is the principle that the individual has choice and control as to the services and supports used as well as in selecting traditional or non-traditional provider(s) that assist them in attaining employment.

Benefits planning and counseling

The need for accurate information about the impact that employment may have on an individual's Social Security disability and other federal benefits is crucial. In recent years, there has been an expansion in the development of tools, services, and supports available to assist individuals in making informed choices about employment.

Job accommodations

Eliminating a barrier to productive, lucrative employment is often as simple as an appropriate accommodation. This section reviews the wide variety of resources available to employers and career seekers seeking to create more accessible and welcoming job sites.

Grantee Accomplishments and Findings

A collection of reports and best practice stories of practical and systemic accomplishments from the ODEP-funded Customized Employment and Workforce Action Grants.

Portfolio Series

Two concise and comprehensive guides to the practice of Customized Employment, including explorations of Discovery, Career Development and Job Negotiation.