Community Employment Resource Map
Recently, Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Tuscarawas DD) adopted a local Employment First policy to support community employment. Most individuals in Tuscarawas County work in food service, retail, and maintenance positions. Through their work with "imagine", Tuscarawas DD is developing a person-centered planning approach to matching individual's strengths and interests with employment opportunities in the community. Many of their staff have gone through person-centered planning training and there is a Community Transition manager position wholly focused on connecting individuals to the community. Tuscarawas DD has a program in in collaboration with a local career center, called Trace U, and a soft skill and job readiness training program where individuals will have internships in the local shopping mall, called Pace U. Tuscarawas is also involved in the Local Leaders and Good Life Network Community Project.
For students transitioning from school to adult services, Tuscarawas DD has regular communication with all of the local school districts. The Local Ohio Means Jobs office also collaborates with Tuscarawas DD. Tuscarawas DD has a strong relationship with the local Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) office and has collaborated with them for over six years, through Bridges to Transition and the VRP3 counselor.
One individual, who had been at the workshop was hired by a local restaurant for only part-time shifts, three days a week; within 3 months he started working five days a week and has been employed for over 3 years.
The partnership with OOD has been particularly influential for community employment success because it has generated awareness in the community and created positive relationships with employers.