Job Title: Employment Specialist
Department: Rehabilitation and Workforce
Reports To: Senior Director of Workforce Development
This is an exempt administrative – general business operations position (A-GBO)
The Employment Specialist is an individual who is committed to the belief that all people who want to work have the right to work. Collaborating with the Workforce Development team at VISIONS, the Employment Specialist identifies appropriate openings and helps place people who are blind and visually impaired in jobs commensurate with their education, interest, skills, and experience. By developing and nurturing relationships with potential employers and learning their staffing needs, the Employment Specialist works with employers on hiring qualified individuals who are legally blind. Efforts are focused on face to face meetings and cold calling to provide information, support, and assistance to employers and clients alike.
The Employment Specialist works as part of a team to place a minimum of 30 legally blind clients annually in competitive employment. The Employment Specialist will match the actual staffing needs of employers to the abilities and interests of VISIONS job-seeking clients.
The Employment Specialist will also take the lead on running soft skills classes to help prepare job seekers for the workforce and provide one on one interview preparation when needed.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
- Provide individualized job development, job readiness, and job placement services to placement clients. Work with the other members of the Workforce Development team to evaluate the job seeker compatibility with various work environments by determining desired work pace, desired supervisory style, desired public contact, compatibility with various corporate cultures, etc.
- Evaluate the needs of both clients and employers for appropriate job matches.
- Make cold calls and in-person presentations to employers (on the phone, through email, and in-person) to promote VISIONS employment programs and job-seeking clients.
- Work to gain commitments from employers to interview and hire individuals who are legally blind. Promote different work incentive programs that are offered through the New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB).
- Recruit for, plan, organize and facilitate 4-6 soft skills (work readiness) classes per year. Two of these are held in our residential facility in Spring Valley and overnight attendance is required.
- Establish and maintain regular communications with New York State Commission for the Blind (NYSCB) counselors to solicit new placement referrals and discuss client progress.
- Assist clients with job search activities; resume development, job applications, and interviewing techniques. This may include accompanying clients to interviews and worksites.
- Provide awareness and training to educate prospective employers about vocational abilities of legally blind applicants and educate prospective employers about tax incentives related to hiring individuals with disabilities.
- Communicate with the Senior Director of Workforce Development and/or Director of Workforce Programs when there is a need for a technical job and environmental analysis of prospective positions and work experience sites.
- Provide intensive one-on-one, short-term, job coaching when needed for workforce clients at their worksite.
- Conduct regular site visits to evaluate client progress in their new job. Provide regular ongoing support to the client (for at least the first 90 days of employment, and Respond to employer concerns and client needs swiftly and effectively to ensure job retention.
- Consult with area chambers of commerce, workforce 1 centers, government agencies, and all local employers regarding employment opportunities as well as economic and employment trends.
- Represent the agency, as requested, in job-related functions with business, government, community agencies and VISIONS events.
- Maintain an organized system of recording and tracking employers, persons referred for placement, progress being made and results. Records should document services such as intake assessments, specific plans for placement, progress notes, and follow-up.
- Complete all required written reports in compliance with standardized departmental and NYSCB guidelines and submit reports to the Senior Director of Workforce Development in electronic format, in a timely fashion.
- Plan, develop, and implement educational workshops, career exploration activities, and other specialized seminars for clients attending work readiness training, and job seeker action meetings.
- Collaborate with the rest of the department to plan employer awareness and networking events.
- Other tasks as assigned by the Senior Director of Workforce Development, or Director of Workforce Programs.
- Bachelor’s degree plus a minimum of two years documented success in marketing, sales, placement in an urban setting or vocational rehab experience in the blindness field. Or an Associate’s Degree with a minimum of four years in marketing, sales and/or placement in an urban setting.
- Knowledge of or willingness to learn barriers to employment faced by individuals with disabilities, specifically individuals who are legally blind and reasonable accommodations in the workplace.
- High expectations for the success of participants, a positive attitude and ability to motivate both clients and prospective employers.
- Must be organized, self-starting, assertive, resourceful, work well in a team setting and goal-oriented.
- Excellent written and interpersonal communication skills.
- Solid networking and follow-up skills.
- Willingness to travel throughout Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Westchester, Rockland & Long Island. Occasional travel to Northern New Jersey, Orange, Sullivan, Dutchess, Ulster and Putnam Counties.
- Computer literacy including word-processing, email, Internet, spreadsheet, mobile devices, and data management skills. Knowledge of the Google Suite of products is a plus.
- Ability to work occasional evening and weekend hours, including possible overnights at VISIONS residential facility in Rockland County.
- Bilingual, including American Sign Language, is a plus.
- Salary: Commensurate with education and experience. Generous health and other benefits including 4 weeks paid vacation.
VISIONS 500 Greenwich St. 3rd Floor New York, NY 10013, and occasionally at VISIONS at Selis Manor on West 23rd Street in Chelsea, and VISIONS Center on Blindness in Rockland county
VISIONS is a 501(c) 3 not for profit rehabilitation recreation and social service agency incorporated in 1926. VISIONS provide service for blind and visually impaired people of all ages in the Greater New York Metropolitan Area.
VISIONS is an equal opportunity employer. All job candidates, consultants and volunteers 18 years of age and older, must consent to a background investigation including a criminal justice system search, reference, and education checks.
Qualified applicants should email their resume and cover letter to Michael Cush, Senior Director of Workforce Development, at email@example.com.