Community Employment/SEFA

Supported Employment


  • Paid Employment for People with Disabilities
  • Integration with Non-Disabled Workers
  • Job Screening, Training, and Follow-Along
  • No Charge to Employers

The Supported Employment Program of Watauga Opportunities is working to enable their trainees to become working citizens.

Supported Employment is a form of rehabilitation, utilizing the job coach model, where a person who may have barrier(s) to employment is trained on a job, one-on-one with an employment specialist. Guided by the principles of least restrictive environment and optimal integration, the employee's abilities are carefully matched to the job requirement.

How It Works

The employment specialist/job coach learns the job, then trains the person in the individual job skills and behavioral expectations at the job site, guaranteeing that production and company standards are met until the new employee can meet them on his/her own. As performance improves, the coach fades from the job site leaving supervision to company personnel. Long-term follow-along staff provides regular contact with the employee both on the job and in the community to assure long-term job retention. The employment specialist is always available for retraining, problem resolution, and to act as liaison between employer and employee.

The Supported Employment Program of Watauga Opportunities is working to enable their Participants to become working citizens.

When adults with developmental disabilities become employed, even part-time, their government benefits are reduced for every dollar they earn. Tax receivers become taxpayers.

The program is available to employers at no cost. The employee is paid by the company just like anyone else on the payroll.

Employer Benefits

  • The Supported Employment Program of Watauga Opportunities is working to enable their trainees to become working citizens.Training and support services free of charge
  • Motivated and dependable labor force
  • Reduced turnover and low absenteeism
  • Good community relations
  • Helps provide reasonable accommodations
  • Work Opportunities Tax Credit

Individual Benefits

  • Higher self-esteem and positive self image
  • Independence in life
  • Higher wages
  • Contributing and active member of community
  • Becoming a taxpayer vs. a tax receiver

Supported Employment Stages


Intensive Training

WOI provides Supported Employment servicesDuring the intensive training stage of supported employment, the employment specialist is on the work site daily with the employee. The employment specialist assures production and quality standards are met, while the employee is in the intensive training stage, by learning and performing the job himself/herself and gradually transferring these skills to the employee. The employment specialist collects data to make sure the employee is doing his/her job correctly. The procedures and policies of the company are discussed and taught to the employee during this time. As needed, the employment specialist will educate the supervisor and co-workers in any area of special needs the employee might have.

WOI provides Supported Employment services

In an attempt to gain the highest level of normalization possible, our employment service is not equipped to provide substitute employees when a supported employment employee is absent, however, during the intensive training stage, the employment specialist will guarantee job completion as needed.,

During preparation for job placement, we instill the importance of punctuality and have an attendance rate well above the norm.

During the intensive training stage, the employment specialist discusses the employee's progress, development, assistance, and other job-related issues with the supervisor. If there are any concerns or questions, supervisors are encouraged to bring them to the employment specialist's attention to help us ensure long-term job retention and quality employees.

Fading

WOI provides Supported Employment servicesDuring the fading stage of supported employment, the employment specialist continues to accompany the employee to the work site, but the time is gradually diminished. As job skills are satisfactorily acquired, the employment specialist begins spending less time with the employee until he/she is completely independent of the employment specialist at the work site and supervision is completely passed to the work site supervisor.

If, during the fading stage, problems arise, production decreases, or quality becomes less than desired, work site supervisors are instructed to contact the employment specialist immediately. We have found that contacting the employment specialist at the first sign of deterioration of skills will provide the most benefit to the employer and employee.

Follow-Along Stage

During the follow-along stage, the employee and the employer receive long-term job maintenance and support as needed. The follow-along stage provides regular check-ups on the employee, evaluations to ensure the employer's satisfaction, a person available for retraining, teaching new skills, or any other concerns that directly or indirectly relate to the job.

 

"Over the years, Watauga Opportunities has provided my company Quality Thermoformed Trays, delivered on time! Great Relationship!"
~ Peter Thom, Owner - Mona Lisa Food Products

"It has been my pleasure to work with Watauga Opportunities for over 15 years. Company ethics, service and quality products are unsurpassed. I would highly recommend their services to anyone."
~ Fred Allen, Medline

"I must say, that the partnership we have enjoyed with your organization has been truly that, a partnership. In every way, we have felt that anytime we have needed to introduce a new product or improve an existing product which you produce for us, the reception and assistance has been spectacular."
~ Joseph Miller, COO - Cheap Joe's Art Stuff

"Over the years, Watauga Opportunities has provided my company Quality Thermoformed Trays, delivered on time! Great Relationship!"
~ Peter Thom, Owner - Mona Lisa Food Products

"It has been my pleasure to work with Watauga Opportunities for over 15 years. Company ethics, service and quality products are unsurpassed. I would highly recommend their services to anyone."
~ Fred Allen, Medline

"I must say, that the partnership we have enjoyed with your organization has been truly that, a partnership. In every way, we have felt that anytime we have needed to introduce a new product or improve an existing product which you produce for us, the reception and assistance has been spectacular."
~ Joseph Miller, COO - Cheap Joe's Art Stuff

"Over the years, Watauga Opportunities has provided my company Quality Thermoformed Trays, delivered on time! Great Relationship!"
~ Peter Thom, Owner - Mona Lisa Food Products

"It has been my pleasure to work with Watauga Opportunities for over 15 years. Company ethics, service and quality products are unsurpassed. I would highly recommend their services to anyone"
~ Fred Allen, Medline

"I must say, that the partnership we have enjoyed with your organization has been truly that, a partnership. In every way, we have felt that anytime we have needed to introduce a new product or improve an existing product which you produce for us, the reception and assistance has been spectacular."
~ Joseph Miller, COO - Cheap Joe's Art Stuff

"Watauga Opportunities does an excellent job in providing programs and services to persons served."
~ CARF Survey Report February 4, 2010

"The CARF surveyors made no recommendation which signifies that they did not identify any areas of nonconformance to the standards. This is an extraordinary accomplishment as only 3 percent of CARF surveys result in no recommendations."
~ CARF Survey Report February 4, 2010

"The levels of compassion and caring by staff are gratifying and speak volumes to the reputation that Watauga Opportunities enjoys professionally as well as in the communities served."
~ CARF Survey Report February 4, 2010.

"The individuals we have hired through Watauga Opportunities are an integral part of our setting. Watauga Opportunities is a great part of who and what we are."
~ Sandee Ashby and Burt Myers - Cafe Portafino

"My job at Watauga Opportunities has made my life more stable and put me back into a positive frame of mind. It gives me self respect and confidence. Watauga Opportunities gave me a great opportunity when others would not."
~ Tim Richardson, Quality Inspector for Watauga Opportunities

"I like my job a lot. I make good money. It is the best job I've ever had. I want to work here for a long time."
~ Roxanne Hall, Medical Assembler for Watauga Opportunities

"Our employee was placed in our hands through Watauga Opportunities, Inc. He is our most dedicated employee and it is quite obvious that he takes his job very seriously and performs his duties to the absolute best of his ability."
~ Barbara Butler - Owner/Boone Custom Forest Products

"Our son has been a client of WOI for over 25 years. The WOI staff has been instrumental in identifying his strengths and weaknesses and how to build on each one. They have helped him build self esteem by involving him in the work force as well as in community activities. I would highly recommend WOI to anyone who may need this type of service."
~ Shirley Walker - ADVP Participant Parent

"Our daughter, Natalie, has participated at Watauga Opportunities for five years. During this time we have been delighted to see substantial improvements in her social and personal skills. The people at Watauga Opportunities are incredibly dedicated, professional, and loving. We are deeply grateful to them."
~ Rashna Werner - CAP Participant Parent

"My daughter Susie is part of the CAP Program at Watauga Opportunities and it has enriched her life immeasurably. She has such wonderful experiences that enhance her joy and growth."
~ Missy Rasnick - CAP Participant Parent

"It's pretty cool. I am more happy now than I have been in years."
~ Jason Beal - Resident at Kellwood Group Home

"Watauga Opportunities and Chris have been a part of Back Yard Burger's team for 15 years. Chris works hard, interacts with customers, and is extremely reliable. We know Chris will be a part of our lives forever."
~ Tony Mansoor et al. - Management Team/Back Yard Burgers

"Michael is always prompt, gives a full hour's work, is eager to learn, asks for additional responsibilities, and above all shares a smile with everyone. I frankly don't know who has benefited more from this relationship...Michael or the gang at Cheap Joe's."
~ Carolyn Fogle - Manager/Cheap Joe's Art Stuff

"ASU has benefited greatly from its relationship with Watauga Opportunities, Inc. Their staff have been instrumental in helping identify well qualified, motivated, and dedicated individuals - like Joe Eller - who are valued employees working in our Dining Services department."
~ Pat Weaver - Food Services, Appalachian State University

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642 Greenway Road
Boone, NC 28607
(828) 264-5009

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