Community Employment Resource Map
There is a wide variety of community employment opportunities in Delaware County. A majority of these positions include: maintenance, retail, food service, technical fields, lawn care, and clerical. There are also positions that require further education and certification like childcare and State Tested Nurse Aides (STNAs) in day habilitation centers and nursing facilities. In order to best serve individuals, Delaware has several policies in place. For example, each person has an individual budget that provides funding from birth throughout the lifespan. There are differing levels and funding agents at different ages, but it is completely individualized. There is also a strong partnership with vocational services.
Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers and supported employment providers provide ongoing and long-term support after initial job coaching is completed by Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities. This partnership also helps with transitions from schools to employment by offering career connections over the summer months for students to explore job opportunities in the community. In addition to this service, Delaware County also participates in Project SEARCH that places students in a year-long internship which prepares them for community employment. These transitional services have allowed individuals to carry over their experiences from school age to adulthood. For example, one individual raised steers as a student. With employment services support, she has turned these experiences into a successful microenterprise and continues to raise and show steers as an adult.
One of the perceived barriers has been transportation in Delaware County. To overcome this, the county has created a unique opportunity for individuals to become more independent with assistance in purchasing a vehicle. The vehicle grant assists with long term sustainability and supports adults in obtaining a license and auto insurance. The grant also provides up to $5000 for purchase of a vehicle (see the link below for more information). Having a personal mode of transportation allows for greater independence and employability and has been extremely successful. Other partnerships in Delaware County include: chambers of commerce, mental health supports, and school districts.
These provide comprehensive services to best serve individuals with complex needs. Delaware County has had tremendous support from families and the community when looking toward community employment .The mindset of community integration is very strong, and has led to several successful outcomes and a foundation for future opportunities.