People with mental illness have many talents and abilities that are often overlooked, including the ability and motivation to work. For many, work is an important part of the recovery process. The Nord Center’s Supported Employment team is committed to helping those with mental illness secure and retain competitive employment based on preferences and abilities.
Our Employment Specialists work with clients on job seeking skills such as resume development, interviewing, and application completion. They also advocate for employment with local businesses and accompany job seekers on interviews to help make career goals a reality.
Once a job has been obtained, the Employment Specialist will continue to meet with the client and their supervisor to ensure all is going well on the job. If additional training is required, a Job Coach may assist the individual and the company to improve performance.
- Zero Exclusions Policy: All consumers who want to work are eligible for help.
- Consumer Preferences are Important: Supported Employment (SE) Specialists help each consumer identify his/her personal strengths, skills and interests.
- Rapid Job Search: Job search begins immediately. The SE Specialist helps the consumer research jobs, fill out applications and interview with potential employers.
- A Competitive Job is the Goal: Competitive jobs inspire self-esteem and enable consumers to work side-by-side with people who may not be experiencing mental disabilities.
- Employment is Integrated with Mental Health Services: The SE Specialists work closely with Case Managers, Psychiatrists and other professionals to help consumers achieve their employment goals.
- Time-Unlimited Support: Consumers are never terminated from SE services, unless it is something they request.
- Personalized Benefits Planning: Benefits Counselors help consumers calculate exactly how much money they can earn without disrupting Medicaid insurance, supplemental security income (SSI) and social security disability insurance (SSDI).
- Systematic Job Development: SE Specialists build relationships with employers through in-person contacts over time, keeping in mind the job preferences of those they represent, to find the right job fit.
Those eligible for The Nord Center Supported Employment Services include Nord Center clients who have been referred by their counselor or case manager, as well as those referred by the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation and/or Human Services.
For more information on our Supported Employment Program, watch our video by clicking here.
Supported Employment Hours of Operation:
Words of Gratitude:
“Before I started receiving services from you, I was with someone else in another agency and I didn’t get anywhere for jobs. I needed to pay my bills and get some money. We tried numerous places close to where I lived and everything failed miserably. I talked to my Counselor and she referred me to you for things you could help me with in finding a job. I think why I struggled in getting jobs is because I was doing it by myself without help. I didn’t have any transportation except for my bicycle and my feet. My background hurt me a little bit. I was having so much trouble, I stopped putting in applications for a while to cool off. I needed someone to help me. I like the work that you do. You’ve come a long way in helping me find a job, in getting further, you’ve looked for me and have a list for me of places. You go out and find me jobs. You’re just an awesome person. I can feel happier about myself. I have a job cleaning a retail store which is wonderful and great. I just love having you guys around because you’re more understanding, get what I’m trying to say. Work is important for me because you have to have a job to pay bills. Going to work every day keeps me busy, keeps me going, I meet new people, I have made friends there, having some fun at work, doing different things at work, learning something new that needs to be done. Work has helped me out a lot. You will have your defaults with some certain things you have to do at work, but I feel happier. I just feel good about working at a job. I’m not as depressed as I am all the time. I may come home at times grumpy from work, but I have more better good days than upsetting ones. It’s a part of life.”