What is Employment First?

Our Employment First division encompasses several work programs that are based on the following 8 beliefs:

Focus on competitive employment.  We believe that more often than not, people living with a mental illness are able to be fully integrated into the general workplace. Our priority is to help people find jobs that are reflective of their skill set and background, in a competitive work environment.

Client choice. Employment service recipients are not excluded on the basis of readiness, diagnoses, symptoms, substance use history, psychiatric hospitalizations, homelessness, level of disability, or legal system involvement.

Integrated mental health services. Employment services work side by side with mental health teams and providers, working toward holistic solutions for every person.

Attention to worker preference. Our services are based on each person’s preference, rather than our own judgments. Still, our team helps provide direction and guidance for people who may not be sure what their preferences are.

Personalized benefits counseling. Employment specialists help people obtain personalized, understandable, and accurate information about their Social Security, Disability, Medicare/Medicaid, and other government entitlements.

Rapid job search. By limiting lengthy pre-employment assessments and training, we seek to get people looking for work as soon as possible.

Systematic job development. We are consistently outreaching local employers based on the needs of people we serve in order to learn about local business needs and hiring practices while maintaining an accessible database for job seekers.

Time unlimited and individualized support. Job supports are individualized and continue for as long as each worker wants and needs the support.