What is a Job Coach? An Overview of the Role of a Job Coach in the Workplace Part 1

What is a Job Coach? An Overview of the Role of a Job Coach in the Workplace Part 1

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>>RACHAEL ROUNDS: Hi, welcome to what is
a job coach. We’re going to give you a
brief overview of the role of a job coach in the work place. My name is Rachel Rounds. I am
the business connections program manager at VCU RTC.>>APRIL LYNCH: Hi, there. My name is April Lynch. I am a supported employment specialist also
with VCU-RRTC.>>RACHAEL ROUNDS: So we’re going to answer
the question what is a job coach, what is our role, who is this person that is assisting
somebody with a disability. So a job coach’s
responsibility is to — to help an individual with a disability to locate and maintain employment
and we are doing very individualized services. We’re getting to know those folks really well
in order to make a good job placement.>>APRIL LYNCH: We are looking to make an
appropriate, positive job match to support their means and overall strengths. Our services are commissioned through DARS,
the department of rehab will state services. Some synonymous terms you might hear for an
employment specialist or job coach might be a life coach, a vocational rehab counselor
or a team consultant. We like to mix it up.>>RACHAEL ROUNDS: Where does job coach role
begin and how does it affect you as the employer? It is useful to understand where the job placement
process begins and topped that the role of the job coach and the needs of
the client. So there are five stages in supportive
employment. It starts with intake. Then it moves to situational assessment maybe. Some
people don’t start in situational assessment. If somebody has a clear job goal, then they
are going to start off in job development and
then we move into job site training and when somebody is independent and working on their
job successfully, we back off in a process called
fading, which we’ll discuss later and they go into follow along when we’re checking on
them periodically throughout the month to make
sure everybody is still happy. So April, you want to talk about the intake?>>APRIL LYNCH: Sure. We get ton the client — get to know the client. This can be
different based on the support network or the family that is involved with this particular
individual, but we do encourage that anyone who’s considered a part of the job team has
much positive information as we can. This also is a time for us to do rapport building
which is basically establishing a relationship with
the client and having trust and understanding to what
their goals are. Throughout this process, we’ll be gathering
personal information, we’re hoping to gain information about volunteer experience
or anything that can make the individual valuable in the job search. And particularly, we’re looking for their
strengths. And overall support
means that may be identified in the future for job development as well as job site training. So
basically summing that up as the goals for employment for that individual.>>RACHAEL ROUNDS: So before they meet with
us, they’re also meeting with DARS in trying to establish employment goals. So we’re working closely with DARS to meet
those same goals. If we find that what that individual has stated
they’re interested in isn’t working out, we can go back to DARS and have a discussion
and maybe determine a new employment goal. So what is the situational assessment? This is for somebody who may be of
transition age. It can be somebody who acquired a disability
and can no longer do what they used to do in the work place. We are really just trying to figure out what
this person’s skills and abilities and likes are. We are doing this in a real work
setting. It’s not contrived. It’s actual work for two to four hours typically
for each assessment. And we’re looking for all kinds of things. Did they show up on time? Did they dress appropriately? Did they have the stamina? All kinds of things to
determine an appropriate job goal.>>APRIL LYNCH: Also taking it back to the
intake about we hear what their hopes and dreams are for employment, we really try to
accommodate that in the situational assessment process; however, sometimes we meet clients
who may share they want to be a wizard because they love Harry Potter. That may not be the most realistic job goal
at this point in time. So
we’re going to do our best to help them identify skills that will make them feel as if they
can work towards sustainable goal.>>RACHAEL ROUNDS: One of my favorite examples
of why do a situational assessment is people will say they want to
work with animals. We’ll schedule an assessment at
a doggy Dale care or vet and then they have to realize they have to clean up after the
animals and then they decide really I just like my animals. It took that assessment for them to try out
to see whether they like or dislike that work. I will usually use that work when I am talking
about assessments. Again to talk about situational assessments,
we’re looking for skills they have, the skills they said they have in the intake
does. That match up with what their
abilities are. Unidentified skills we didn’t talk about in
the intake. Like I said,
stamina. Can they handle the task load? Exposure to new environment? Do they
want to work with more men and women? Do they care? Interpersonal skills and
how to best communicate and teach the person when they do find a job.>>APRIL LYNCH: So what exactly makes a good
assessment? The employment
specialist or job coach will go and meet with the manager employer on that particular business
site and incentivize tasks that can be helpful and the assessment process for that particular
client, but then also we want to deliver for the business. We want to meet the business is the customer
as well. So we want to meet those needs. So identify a task list can be Ben firm for
not only the — beneficial for the client, but for
the employer as well. So making that a positive
experience with planning ahead and having expectations for the assessment and then one
of the biggest pieces is having a safe environment
to be able to assess our clients and allow them to feel
comfortable to really show us their skillset and, you know, just overall getting that information
we need to further the job search and hopefully make them a future employee for a business.>>RACHAEL ROUNDS: Businesses can tend to
have questions about liability and assessments because the individual is not
an employee and what happen fist they get hurt during
the assessment. In our situation, if the individual was injured
on the assessment, our VR agency has coverage to insure that the business is
safe and sound in case anything happens to the
consumer F. anything happened to one of us on the job site, we have workers compensation
through our employer. So then once we gather all this information
from situational assessment, we determined an appropriate job goal. We will start to hit the pavement and look
for employment. So we have compiled all the information gained
from the intake and the assessment and we’re going out there to
look for a good job match. The process
varies for each individual. All of our services are very individualized. So I always
say we will not put a square peg into a round hole if I know a fast food position
exists, but I have a consumer who is looking for clerical work. I will not stick them
in the fast food position because I continue is availability our goal is long-term
employment. So we’re hoping to find good job match to
–>>APRIL LYNCH: To best need the client needs. I like what you is a earlier, Rachel,
when you brought up how sometimes our clients go straight into job development and they
skip over the situational assessment process. We have experienced clients who have been
in volunteer positions for years and gaining
this exposure to a job site, building rapport with the job
management teams, but then needing that support. That’s when the employment specialists can
come in and assist that client in any paperwork that’s necessary and pretty much just advocating
for employment.>>RACHAEL ROUNDS: So some of the things that
we do is, you know, I would say one of the least successful things is navigating
job boards. That’s not to say it doesn’t work because
we have made placements that way, but really it’s about creating relationships in the community
and introducing yourself to business owners and hiring managers. Community networking
where again, we’re taking our clients interests into mine and we are going out there and trying
to find a good job match for them. Another thing we do as a job analysis and
hopefully we’ll touch on this again. But an employer will allow us to maybe take
a tour of the facility and allow us to go okay. This is not what I thought it was or this
is exactly what I thought it was and I have the
perfect person for this position. It is more about establishing relationships
in the community and that’s how we make our best
matches.>>APRIL LYNCH: And sometimes when we do make
those best matches and we create these relationships with employers, it can
continue to additional placements or even receptiveness of what we call a job carve
or a restructured position. And this would be tailoring
a position or maybe even creating a brand new position that best fits your business
production needs as well as the clients strengths. So I don’t know if we want to touch specifically
on that.>>RACHAEL ROUNDS: I was just going to mention
I love it when we already created a great relationship with a particular employer
and when they have a need, they reach out to us
making our jobs a lot easier. So those relationships are really important
to us and for the success of the consumer. So here’s some ways that we assist our clients
with job seeking skills. We will
create and tailor resumes to each individual employer that we are — we may be
looking for different kinds of jobs. So we’ll tailor their resumes for the employer
that we’re applying for. We’ll assist with online applications and
maybe do applications on their behalf with their permission. We’ll practice interviews and you
want to speak about being the liaison?>>APRIL LYNCH: Yes. At times, we would refer to ourselves as being
a liaison between the employer and the clients to support
their strengths through the interview process. We talked about later on as far as interview
etiquette, but really allowing the employer to be
open and honest about the process and then allowing us is to best prepare our client
for that process.>>RACHAEL ROUNDS: Well, that brings us to
the end of part 1 of what is a job coach. If you have questions, please feel free to
post them on the web board. Thank you.

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