The Arc’s Employment Solutions offers a variety of services to assist individuals in obtaining and maintaining employment in the community. We work with individuals and their support team exploring the different types of employment options and developing a plan that meets their needs. Our services are available in an individualized or small group setting and are community-based.
The Arc of the Ozarks is an employment-first organization. We believe each person deserves an opportunity to discover independence through employment. Sometimes independence looks like at-home online jobs for disabled individuals, and other times independence means finding a wheelchair-friendly workplace with the right accommodations.
No matter the case, we are dedicated to providing individuals with the support they need to find the best employment opportunity to fit their needs. Individuals interested in receiving employment services need to obtain referrals from the Department of Mental Health or Vocational Rehabilitation. Learn more about how our Employment Specialists can help you in your job search.
Individuals who obtain employment in the community will receive initial job coaching. A job coach will go on-site with the individual to assist them with learning the rules and responsibilities of the job. A job coach will help develop natural supports for the individual to make the fading out process more streamlined. Once the individual and business feel comfortable and confident, the job coach will then fade out completely.
Once individuals are referred to Job Development, they will work with an Employment Specialist and Job Coach to start the job search process. Activities included in Job Development: resume creation, filling out and submitting job applications, practicing interview skills, following up on employment leads, and so much more!
For people with a goal of achieving community employment but who may need additional support to work on job readiness skills, we offer Prevocational Services.
These services assist people with developing general, non-job-specific skills that contribute to their goals of achieving competitive, integrated employment. These skills are also known as “soft skills” or “employability skills” and can assist individuals in making reasonable and continued progress towards their vocational goals.
Employment Solutions will continue to provide supports on an as-needed basis to ensure current employment continues to meet the needs of individuals served. Should individuals decide they would like to seek other options, we will provide supports necessary to assist them in creating a new plan for employment.
Once individuals are referred to the program, they will begin working with an Employment Specialist to build a career plan. Career planning consists of activities and actions to help identify and achieve individual career goals. Career planning is an ongoing process where individuals explore their conditions and preferences, interests and abilities, and strategically plan their career goals and develop action plans to help achieve their goals. Activities include but are not limited to trial work experience, a variety of community-based work experiences, job shadowing, informational interviews with employers and benefits planning, interest inventories, etc. Once career planning is complete, recommendations will be made regarding moving onto job development and/or begin seeking employment that matches career planning goals.
The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Summer Work Experience is ideally designed for students with disabilities who meet criteria of potential eligibility for VR services. Students must have an IEP or 504 plan and student has a known disability. The VR Summer Work Experience is provided in collaboration with approved Missouri VR Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs). Participants must be students who are entering their final two years in high school and have no prior successful formal work experience in a competitive integrated setting. Students may participate a maximum of two years if the student has not been able to obtain or maintain successful employment in a competitive integrated setting. Students must be 16 at the time the SWE plan begins. The VR Summer Work Experience will consist of one, six-week, work-based learning experience during the summer. All six weeks must be completed within an eight-week window of time. Total weekly hours will be 20 hours per participant. Most of those hours will be spent engaged in the tasks associated with the job the student was hired to do. Before, during or after the work day, there will be an expectation that daily discussions occur, highlighting soft skills. The 20 hours per week may be allocated over the course of either a four- or five-day work week. Participants will be paid at the rate specified in State or local minimum wage law, up to 20 hours per week, for the duration of the six-week summer work experience. The Arc will hire the student as a temporary employee and serve as the employer of record, which will include responsibility for providing liability insurance and workers compensation.
Current partnering sites include Millsap Farms, The Discovery Center, Dickerson Park Zoo, The Hive, Rutledge Wilson Farm, and OATs Transportation.
A.M. Donuts & Coffee was established in 2021 and is staffed by individuals with disabilities who cook and serve a variety of coffee and glazed donuts. Individuals working the food truck will be paid at the rate of the current MO state minimum wage. A Job Coach will provide assistance and support to the individuals served in a 1:1 ratio. Individuals working the food truck are responsible for preparing the donuts, making the coffee, handling money transactions, and interacting with the general public. A monthly calendar is established to attend and partner with various community events and businesses. Reservations can be made at amdonutsandcoffee.com.
Individuals working in the Car Detail Shop will be paid at the rate of the current MO state minimum wage. A Job Coach will provide assistance and support to the individuals served in a 1:4 ratio. Individuals are responsible for cleaning the interior and exterior of vehicles. Duties include but are not limited to removing trash, dusting interior surfaces, cleaning interior and exterior glass, Armor-All protecting interior vinyl surfaces, vacuuming, and shampooing carpets and cloth seating. Preventative maintenance checks will include checking the horn, headlights, turn signals, brake lights, tire pressures, and oil level. The Job Coach will be responsible for driving the vehicles to and from the warehouse bay and parking lot for customers.
The Auto Detail Shop partners with the community by accepting referrals directly from Springfield and surrounding areas. Reservations can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org, $40.00 per vehicle. The Auto Detail Shop also partners with local businesses to provide quality services at a reasonable price. We can come to your business!
Eligibility for employment services is obtained through a referral from the Department of Mental Health or Vocational Rehabilitation. Contact The Arc for more information.