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Group Discovery Training: Making Connections

The LEAD Center’s customized employment initiative, in collaboration with American Job Centers (AJCs), aims to increase the use of the workforce system by people with disabilities to support their ultimate success in achieving employment. The initiative uses innovative practices including discovery and group discovery to lead to competitive and customized employment for people with disabilities.

In March, staff from the Workforce Center of South Central Kansas and partner agencies participated in a group discovery facilitator training sponsored by the LEAD Center, as part of its Customized Employment Initiative. I presented an overview of customized employment and the use of group discovery as a means to reach better employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities and others with barriers to employment. 

During the two-day training, representatives from the Workforce Center of South Central Kansas and South Central Mental Health presented on a pilot project, in which they are implementing group discovery in Andover, Kansas, and which they have been co-facilitating since January. The group has been very successful and they plan to start a second group in El Dorado, Kansas in June.

Through the group discovery facilitator training, Kansas Workforce Center of South Central Kansas made connections with other agencies, such as Catholic Charities and the Independent Living Resource Center, who expressed interest in collaborating on similar projects this year. Partnerships like these will enable them to braid resources and collaborate jointly to support job seekers in successfully achieving employment goals - which is a win for job seekers and the organizations working to support them.

Another group discovery facilitator training is scheduled with Workforce Center of Southeast Kansas for September 25-26, 2014. Visit the LEAD Center webiste to learn more about the LEAD Center's Customized Employment Initiative.


Janet Steveley is a senior consultant with Griffin-Hammis Associates. She is a subject matter expert with the LEAD Center focusing on customized employment in a two-state demonstration project in Kansas and Illinois.


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