Van Buren Job Opportunities
Van Buren Job Opportunities (VBJO) is a unique employment service designed to enable persons with disabilities to achieve successful employment in the community.
OUR VISION: All people, including people with disabilities who want to work, will be given the opportunity to realize their full potential in the world of work. Van Buren Job Opportunities will provide quality employment services through dedication, determination, collaboration, innovation, and respect for all people.
OUR MISSION: Striving to help individuals assess, find, train for, and maintain successful employment in the community of their choice.
APPROACH: Our community-based employment model focuses on people with disabilities in Henry, Jefferson, Lee, Van Buren, and Wapello Counties and the business community.
Scope of our Service:
• Job Enhancement – Through this service, our staff teaches clients job seeking skills – including resume development, interviewing techniques. When appropriate our staff provides career counseling, customer service skills and retail occupational training.
• Assessment/Planning - includes discovery, enhanced planning, job shadows, career exploration, and work site evaluations. Employment planning helps identify and assess each individual’s interests, strengths, career goals and support needs in order to develop, obtain and maintain employment in the community of their choice. Discovery gathers information from the client and his/her support team to determine the client’s interests, skills, and preferences related to potential employment that guide in the development of a customized job. Discovery observes a client in his/her environment to help a client understand their contributions, conditions, and interests. All assessment tools, such as a job shadow and/or a work site evaluation, may be utilized to help a client identify and determine vocational goals, vocational strengths, job families, off site support needs, on-the-job support strategies needed to achieve meaningful career/employment outcomes
• Supported Employment – A personnel service that matches qualified people to the manpower needs of large and small businesses. VBJO’s supported employment services include job development, job matching, and job coaching/training and ongoing support/follow along services. Supported Employment services are offered 7 days a week, whenever a client works.
The frequency of our services depends on the individual support needs of our clients, which may be from 1 hour a month to 36 hours a month. VBJO is funded in part by Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS), Medicaid Waiver Services, County, State, or Federal grant agreements. IVRS and Case Management are our largest referral sources. A quality indicator for a successful employment agency is their job retention rate. In 2013, 100% of VBJO’s clients stayed in their job longer than 6 months. This is a phenomenal accomplishment for VBJO! In 2012, VBJO was honored to be chosen as one of six employment services in the state of Iowa to pilot a new Employment First Initiative. We six were given the opportunity to implement customized employment strategies/best practices that lead to successful, quality employment for people with disabilities. As a result, in 2013, VBJO successfully placed four times as many clients in jobs in the community as in the previous three years! In 2014, VBJO is extending the Employment First Initiative into the high school setting to establish a transition process for students with disabilities that ensures school work experiences, connections to needed adult support services, and obtains employment before graduating from high school.
Our office is located at the Van Buren County Hospital, in the new Villages Community Services Center in Keosauqua. Office hours are 8:00 am to 4:00 pm., Monday through Friday. To arrange for Job Opportunities services call Janet Phelps at 319-293-6276 or toll free 800-221-6276. After hours call 319-293-3171.