Jobs Driven Training Strategies
Certificate Programs offer hands-on training programs for students and adults with disabilities. This opportunity results from a partnership with local Nebraska VR service offices, three to five core business partners in the area, a community college, and local schools. Students take classes, tour business, and either work part-time or participate in an internship with our employer partners.
The Certificate Programs were inspired by the Project SEARCH concept. The programs are business driven, short term, real life trainings that teach both technical hard skills and soft skills. Each gives workers the opportunity to acquire the skills that they need to pursue in-demand jobs and careers.
Certificate Programs begin when Nebraska VR Employment Specialists from local area offices identify trends in client employment interest areas and job goals. Next, Nebraska VR evaluates the feasibility for the local area job market. The job field should be one that can provide future opportunities to grow or have an established career path.
Three to five partner businesses are identified. The businesses have common interests in the types of skills and abilities they need to fill job vacancies. Together, the businesses work to identify exactly what they need in job candidates qualified to fill job vacancies. They can fit their hiring and retention needs with a 100% top-to-bottom opportunity to design a curriculum.
They start with a list of five to ten essential skills required for entry-level jobs in their businesses. Training partners review the list and identify the best way to meet the training needs and fill the business partners' labor niche. The training includes soft skills training keying in on the basics of being on time and dependable. Work place communication skills are included.
This program was designed for students and adults who learn best in a hands-on training environment.
View Certificate Program Sites in a larger map.
A.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. To address his concerns for the future and find his new work niche, A.J worked with Employment Specialist Carly Benson and Vocational Evaluator Dana Daigre. They worked together to find the right training to match his strengths and abilities through this short-term, hands-on, and business-lead training opportunity. The Certificate Program at Omaha's A1 United Heating, Air, and Electrical met A.J.'s need to access a new career path. The business also benefited by training A.J. and other participants with the types of skills and abilities needed to fill high turnover job vacancies within their company. Technician/Trainer Jesse Hensen reports that after a couple of years as Construction Technician, A.J is now taking Journeymen classes to advance his career.
The Pathway to Employment Video Series is designed to de-mystify the many services provided to clients and businesses while highlighting the innovation that is the culture of Nebraska VR. While certainly each story is either one of progress towards an employment goal or a client's employment goal success, they are also stories about the important role played by staff members, businesses, ATP, Easter Seals, Project SEARCH, and others. Go to: vr.nebraska.gov/videos/