Valley Mountain Regional Center’s Employment outreach is a collective effort between our individuals, vendors, employers and the community to encourage Competitive Integrated Employment. Our Employment Specialist is a member of most of our local Chambers of Commerce, where he learns of their needs as businesses, not just “employers”, and he partners with them to access our workforce of workers with disabilities who can help them achieve their business goals. He also connects with local employment service providers to help them secure jobs, and is intimately joined with our school districts as they prepare a qualified workforce as a pipeline of talent for local businesses, non-profits, and government. Each of the 21 regional centers in California has hired an Employment Specialist to assist with this initiative to make sure our individuals receive “Real Work, for Real Pay, in the Real World.”
Employment Specialist Travels and Update 2019-2020
The year of 2019 was a great year for networking and educating businesses about the many benefits of hiring individuals with developmental disabilities. Below is an update on my travels and what I have been working on from the end of 2019 through the first month of 2020. Things are really picking up and I am excited about 2020!
Worknet Job Fair November 2019
We partnered with Worknet several times in 2019 and attended their November Job Fair. Through this, we got to network with many local businesses in the area. HR Generalist Mary Jane Flores attended these fairs to promote VMRC open positions. It is a great partnership that will continue into 2020. The next Worknet Job Fair is Thursday, February 20th, 2020 9:30 am to 2:00 pm.
UEI Stockton Campus Tour November 2019
We partnered with UEI College Stockton Campus and toured the facility. We are looking forward to having them attend our Stockton Transition Fair on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.
Local Partnership Agreement (LPA) December 2019
We held our Local Partnership Agreement (LPA) team meeting to discuss adding new partners and community resources to our existing LPA. This group is a collaboration between the school districts, community resources, and VMRC to illustrate how we all work together to provide services to our individuals. To see the current LPA document please click the link and click on Amador, Calaveras, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne LPA: https://www.chhs.ca.gov/home/cie/elementor-11522/
Slakey Brothers Presentation and Partnership December 2019
We had the wonderful opportunity to present to Slakey Brothers Elk Grove Corporate office about the many benefits of hiring individuals with developmental disabilities. There are 2 locations in our catchment area of Stockton and Modesto. Supported Employment vendors were sent an update and job descriptions in each county. Slakey Brothers are willing to hire directly and utilize our Paid Internship Programs. More information will be sent out after a tour of each facility is scheduled.
2020 Transition Fair Planning January 2020
It is that time of year again! Our 2020 Transition Fairs are just around the corner. The first one will be held in Amador County on Friday, March 13, from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Program manager Rhonda Trout and Senior Service Coordinator Josie Craig have done a great job organizing this event.
Our San Joaquin 2020 Transition fair will be held on Wednesday, April 22, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm here at the VMRC Stockton office in our private parking lot outside. Program Managers Dave Vodden and Erin Goudreau have done a wonderful job organizing this event.
The Stanislaus County 2020 Transition Fair will be on Tuesday, April 28, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at the VMRC Modesto office. Program Manager Neidra Clayton is simply terrific when it comes to planning and organizing an event. Thank you so much!
Calaveras and Tuolumne county dates and times will be determined soon. It is great to be part of the planning team and of course run the VMRC booth at each fair in all 5 counties. Special Thanks to Dena Hernandez (SCDD) as she did a wonderful job on the flyers and former Cultural Specialist Carlos Hernandez Jr for being a part of the planning team. Look forward to seeing you all there!!!
To view details of all of our events click here to see our calendar.
San Joaquin SELIT January 2019
The San Joaquin County Supported Employment Living Inter-agency Team (SELIT) meeting was hosted this year by VMRC. Program Manager Dave Vodden and his entire Transformers Transition Team attended SELIT. Teachers, day programs, supported employment vendors, supported living service vendors, and community resources collaborated and discussed the options for exiting transition students.
Stanislaus SELIT January 2020
The Stanislaus SELIT, organized by Program Manager Neidra Clayton, has been revamped to be more like the San Joaquin County SELIT. Dena Hernandez and I have helped with this process. Neidra Clayton’s transition team attends the meeting. Maricela Rodriguez assists with the scheduling and note taking and helping make this meeting a huge success. This past meeting had a special presenter, Steve Ruder from UC Davis Mind Institute. His presentation on decision making was amazing and very informative.
These have been my highlights the past few months. Please follow the Valley Mountain LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/valley-mountain-regional-center/?viewAsMember=true for more updates and events.
The Employment Specialist
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) and many organizations are promoting the hiring of individuals with developmental disabilities. Valley Mountain Regional Center is also participating by sharing information about NDEAM, and more specifically promoting the programs that we are currently offering to our individuals. Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) is our newest program with the slogan “Real work, for Real Pay, in the Real World”.
The entire State of California, through our regional centers, are encouraging our individuals to be working competitively, and in an integrated employment setting, where they are working side by side with individuals without disabilities. In order to educate businesses, I have been promoting these benefits for hiring individuals with disabilities:
Through our local chapters of chambers of commerce, I am sending out a flyer to businesses in all counties, offering to come to their place of work and educate about each of these benefits for hiring our individuals. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and I will do my best to help make each business aware!
The Employment Specialist
Networking at its Best
One month ago, Stephanie Duval, who is an Intake Coordinator here at our Modesto office, sent an email to our Executive Director, Tony Anderson and our San Andreas Program Manager, Rhonda Trout about a conversation she had with Joel and Jamie Brandt, owners of the new Grocery Outlet in Valley Springs at an event she attended in Roseville. Stephanie visited their Grocery Outlet booth and mentioned she worked for Valley Mountain Regional Center. Joel and Jamie were excited to learn more about VMRC and potentially partner to provide employment opportunities for our individuals.
Tony Anderson forwarded the email to myself, and provided me with Joel and Jamie Brandt’s contact information. Jamie was eager to schedule a meeting to learn more about the employment programs that VMRC has to offer and stated that if we had anyone ready to interview to bring them to the meeting.
On 09/04, at our San Andreas office, one month after Stephanie emailed about her conversation with Joel and Jamie Brandt, we had our first meeting with our supported employment partner, Arc of Amador and Calaveras, as well as Jamie Brandt. Arc of Amador and Calaveras had three candidates ready to interview that day. Each candidate interviewed great and have second interviews scheduled.
I would like to thank Joel and Jamie Brandt for opening a new Grocery Outlet in Valley Springs, CA and being willing to learn more about the individuals we serve. We are looking forward to building on this partnership in the future. Thank you to Arc of Amador and Calaveras, and congratulations to our three individuals who have second interviews coming up, we wish you the best of luck! Lastly, a special thank you to Stephanie Duval for always keeping the individuals that we serve at the forefront, and inquiring about potential employment opportunities. One month later Stephanie’s conversation has led to three of our individuals getting interviews, which truly is Networking at its Best!
The Employment Specialist
UCP and the PIPs (PDF)
It is with great pleasure that I recognize United Cerebral Palsy of Stanislaus County (UCP) as our first Supported Employment partner in Stanislaus County to add the Paid Internship Program (PIP) to their program design. Within the first 6 months of UCP’s PIP program, it has quickly began to benefit and help their individuals achieve their employment goals. I am excited to recognize the 4 current PIP placements listed below:
UCP continues to be committed to excellence in service, utilizing a person-centered approach in the areas of job placement, development, and implementation, while partnering with the Department of Rehabilitation and Valley Mountain Regional Center to help their individuals achieve Competitive Integrated Employment. I would like to thank Employment Services Manager Ignacio Chavez (email@example.com ) and his entire Supported Employment team at UCP (www.ucpstan.org ) for offering the Paid Internship Program as part of the program design. If there are any companies in Stanislaus County that are interested in partnering with Valley Mountain Regional Center and UCP to utilize the Paid Internship Program please contact Employment Specialist Enos Edmerson Jr. at 209-955-3672 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joshua Irigoyen was the first hire to begin our partnership with Karyn and Tom Gallo at their restaurant, Hauck’s Grill, in Turlock, Ca. Joshua interviewed with Chef Michael Goularte at Hauck’s Grill and Michael could see Joshua’s enthusiasm to work. The interview went well and Joshua was offered the job on the spot. Joshua was attending a day program and needed quick job coaching. Howard Training Center was willing to help out and provided job coaching within a couple of days for the weekend shift. Karyn and Michael report that Joshua is doing a great job and he has added days to his shift. Howard Training Center continues to provide job coaching and this partnership has been a success. Special Thanks to Karyn Gallo for offering this opportunity to our individuals, Chef Michael Goularte for training and assisting Joshua, and Howard Training Center’s Leonard Hansen and Sandra Holt for providing job coaching on short notice and continuing to work with Joshua to help him succeed on his job. Also, thank you to Program Manager Neidra Clayton for referring Karyn Gallo to me to kick start this awesome partnership.
The Employment Specialist
What is Your Dream Job?
The 2019 Transition Fairs have all concluded. Each of our 5 counties; Amador, Calaveras, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne, hosted a Transition Fair and they were all highly successful. I would like to thank all staff involved for volunteering and helping out with each fair. I was present for each fair and had the opportunity to speak with many transition age students about their future. The main question I asked was “What is your dream job?”
The reason for asking about their “Dream Job” is to determine the best work environment possible. Often times our individuals are working in industries that they do not like, or are not passionate about, thus creating inappropriate behaviors and bad work habits. Utilizing Person-Centered Planning (PCP) by determining an individual’s “Dream Job” can help place our individuals in their preferred work environment. The issue is what to do when the “Dream Job” may be very difficult to achieve.
The most common answers that I received were professional wrestler, famous, singer, Nascar driver, and actor/actress. These “Dream Jobs” are very difficult to achieve, but they do offer insight to what our individuals are passionate about. For an individual who does not achieve their dream of being a professional wrestler, they may be more content working at an arena where wrestling performs. For this reason, it is important to know what a person’s “Dream Job” is in order to help them achieve their dream, or get them as close as possible.
The Employment Specialist
Karyn Gallo, owner of Galletto Ristorante, was informed about Valley Mountain Regional Center and the individuals with developmental disabilities that we serve, and expressed interest in hiring one of our individuals at each of her restaurants. Valley Mountain Regional Center’s Employment Specialist, Enos Edmerson, Jr., met with Executive Chef Stephanie Chavez to discuss the specifics of the job description and the search was on. Through Valley Mountain Regional Center’s partnerships, 3 candidates were submitted for interview. According to Chef Stephanie each interviewed well, but the one candidate that would be the best fit was Pedro Perez. Pedro has been working for Galletto Ristorante for a month now. Chef Stephanie and Karyn report that he is a hard worker and a valued member of the crew. So many people helped with this partnership, so a special recognition to Modesto Transition Program Manager Neidra Clayton, VMRC Modesto Staff, and Ignacio Chavez, UCP, for all contributing to making this partnership a success. Also, a special thanks to Karyn Gallo, owner of Galletto Ristorante, for providing this opportunity and allowing for Pedro Perez to work in a Competitive Integrated Employment worksite.
The Employment Specialist
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