LJRFS Partners Work Opportunities Unlimited

Palm Beach Post
Communications Department
July 14, 2015

“We love working with Work Opportunities Unlimited,“ reports Dr Elaine Rotenberg, “as their process  of integrating clients into community-based employment fits right into the philosophy of our agency.  We believe together that given the right opportunity, proper supports, and effective training, all of our residents can be successful  finding and remaining in a personally rewarding job within the community at large.”  

Our JRFS residents work 1:1 with their Work Opportunities Unlimited  Career Resource Specialist  (CRS) to develop a Customized Service Plan to help identify their specific goals for employment, scheduling, and support. This is accomplished  by gathering information on the resident’s personal interests, history and preferences. They also determine together, the outcomes that need to be accomplished in order to reach those goals including hours, wages, level of support and transportation method.

Following the Customized Service Plan, our resident along with his/her Career Resource Specialist, develops an effective job seeking strategy which includes creating a resume, practicing application writing, interview training and determining appropriate interview attire.    

The Career Resource Specialist next contacts companies relevant to our resident’s job goal and those that are specifically identified in the Plan. These prospective employers are contacted with the intent of meeting to conduct an analysis of their jobs and to ascertain the hiring needs of the company and the employment desires of our resident.  In some cases, a job shadow may be utilized if our resident would like or would benefit from seeing the job and the company in person, prior to interview, to determine if this job will be a suitable match to his or her interests.

The CRS will then arrange for appropriate interviews with the goal of finding appropriate employment. At times, natural supports will  be developed, this involves building capacity within supervisors and coworkers at the job site to support our resident on the job. 

Once a job placement has been secured, a Retention Plan is created which outlines the expectations of the employer, the skills of our resident and the intervention strategies to be implemented in order for our resident to meet the employer's expectations. The CRS, the resident, and the employer work together to identify interventions that will be implemented to raise the resident’s performance level to meet expectations.

Periodically reviews are conducted with the resident to assess his or her performance. Residents are asked to consider: What does my employer expect?  Am I meeting expectations? How do I improve?

Our residents are involved in this structured job process from the very beginning. This creates a sense of ownership and pride among our Jewish Residential Family.