Defined by the U.S. Department of Labor, ODEP (Office of Disability Employment Policy), “customized employment is a flexible process designed to personalize the employment relationship between a job candidate and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both. It is based on an individualized match between the strengths, conditions, and interests of a job candidate and the identified business needs of an employer. Customized Employment utilizes an individualized approach to employment planning and job development – one person at a time….one employer at a time.”

For Serena, this definition transformed into reality. Serena enrolled into Goodwill’s Employment and Career Services in September 2020 with limited work experience, feeling uncomfortable in social situations and having difficulty communicating with people she didn’t know, but excited to overcome challenges and find a job that matched her strengths, talents and preferences. After exploring Serena’s interests, Serena’s Employment Specialist, Jen, developed an On-The-Job Experience (OJE) with a potential employer. Jen supported Serena with on-site job coaching for three months. Serena was hired on as a regular, competitive part-time employee at Live Well Physical Therapy at the end of the OJE. Barb Enberg, Physical Therapist and Owner of Live Well Physical Therapy, shares her experience, “Our experience of working with Serena has been nothing short of wonderful! She assists us with tasks which are often difficult for our staff to get to during busy times. Serena is dependable and conscientious. Jennifer, her job-training coach, was amazing in training not only Serena, but also our staff. Serena has become a member of our Live Well family – we love her!”

Is there a customized job opportunity at your business?
– What product or service do you currently not provide that you would like to provide?
– What resources are needed to provide the service or product?
– What keeps your work flow from going smoothly?
– What is currently not getting done?

Visit goodwillne.org to find an Employment and Career Services office near you and find out more about Customized Employment at your place of business.