Community Employment Resource Map
Several policies and practices exist within the Muskingum County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Muskingum DD) to support community employment. The Board approved the Community Employment Policy in June 2014, which lays the framework for employment services and mirrors the state Employment First Initiative. There is also a local Employment First Taskforce, comprised of individuals served, local employers, and other community members. The Taskforce meets quarterly and discusses a variety of topics surrounding community employment. One of the action items produced from the Taskforce is the desire for employers to know more about their employees. To encourage natural supports, the Board develops profiles for each employee so that employers are more aware of how to provide assistance when needed. Muskingum County is also a part of imagine and will be a part of the Good Life Network Community Project, both of which enhance their person-centered planning philosophy.
Community employment is prominent in Muskingum County, and staff members have dedicated themselves to implementing the culture shift by encouraging individuals to seek employment and giving them the support they need to achieve their goals. They are fortunate to have strong support from the community as they continue to propel the message of Employment First.
Multiple partnerships improve community employment outcomes in Muskingum County, including collaboration with the Educational Service Center to better prepare youth for community employment and a strong relationship with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities. Muskingum DD also works closely with the Chamber of Commerce, networking to building awareness and strengthening relationships with the business community.
Muskingum DD equips individuals with the skills necessary to get a job in the community. One individual, Kolton Roush, who currently works in the community at a semi-truck repair shop, has also taken on an internship at a lawn service, which is more in line with his interests. Kolton is very self-determined and persistent about wanting to work in the community. Another individual who is legally blind and deaf, Trisha Huston, has overcome several potential barriers to become a two-year employee of TJ Maxx. In addition to her retail job, she recently wrote a book, titled Follow What You Believe In Like I Did, and speaks publicly about her experiences.