Career Pathways Advancement Project — Individuals with Disabilities Find Work That Best Fits Them

Note: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Nebraska VR logo in center of 4 photos. Top Left: A.J. (Andrew) Sigler, A1 United Heating, Air & Electrical Construction. Top Right: Sam Nelson, Environmental Services Associate. Bottom Left: Tanna Skarniak, Owner TS Preservation Specialist. Bottom Left: Amanda Carr, Hy-Vee Courtesy Clerk ]

The Career Pathways Advancement Project (CPAP) is designed for Nebraska vocational rehabilitation (VR) clients to explore and access opportunities to advance in their employment.

Through a combination of classroom and on-the-job training, clients earn the recognized postsecondary credentials required for advancement within a specific industry. CPAP provides employers access to a group of potential employees with the required and relevant skills.

This project is funded by a five-year grant awarded to Nebraska VR in 2015.

Focused outreach to 2,000 successfully employed Nebraska VR clients from the last four years seeks to upskill/backfill positions within the high-demand industries of architecture and construction, healthcare, information technology, manufacturing, and transportation, distribution and logistics.

Nebraska VR’s vision is to promote autonomy, stability, and economic self-sufficiency, achieved by assistance to obtain a single, stable, well-paying job with benefits to replace the one (or more) entry-level jobs currently held to make ends meet.

Nebraska VR has a variety of programs and services to help support its residents with disabilities.

Job Immersion Training to Customized Employment

Sam NelsonSam Nelson participated in Project SEARCH, a Nebraska work immersion program that prepares students for the work world through a combination of classroom time and internship rotations, at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha during his last year of high school.

He works as an Environmental Services Associate where one of his duties includes cleaning Isolette Infant Incubators in the neonatal intensive care unit.

The host site hired Nelson permanently after graduating from the program. Learn more about Project SEARCH and Nelson’s work.

Inclusion works

Amanda CarrAmanda Carr, a Hy-Vee courtesy clerk with Down syndrome, uses her personality traits when working with customers and fellow employees. Carr’s VR employment specialist works with her and Hy-Vee to expand her hours and work towards her full-time employment goal.

Meet Carr, her Nebraska VR employment specialist and the Hy-Vee career care education manager

Certificate Program

A.J. SiglerA.J. Sigler participated in one of Nebraska VR’s Certificate Programs after an acquired brain injury changed his ability to continue as a writer and reporter.

Sigler worked with a Nebraska employment specialist and a vocational evaluator to address his concerns for the future and find his new work niche. Together they found the right training to match Sigler’s strengths and abilities through a short-term, hands-on, and business-lead training opportunity.

Find out more about Sigler and how he benefited from a certificate program that lead to a new career path in HVAC industry.

Self-Employment is Customized Employment

Tanna SkarniakFor decades, Tanna Skarniak attempted work in traditional jobs but often quit due to concerns about losing the Social Security benefits that provided access to disability related prescriptions.

When a small business idea presented an opportunity for customized employment that would accommodate her disability, an Easter Seals Nebraska self-employment specialist provided benefits analysis services to help Skarniak make informed choices about work while supporting a successful transition to self-sufficiency.

Learn more about how Skarniak worked with a Nebraska VR service specialist and the Easter Seals Nebraska to gain self-employment and own her own business in property preservation for foreclosed and bankrupted properties.

Blog content originally posted to Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation.

View more videos on the organization’s site.

Blog articles provide insights on the activities of schools, programs, grantees, and other education stakeholders to promote continuing discussion of educational innovation and reform. Articles do not endorse any educational product, service, curriculum or pedagogy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *