Employment first what s happening in wisconsin
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Employment First – What ’ s Happening in Wisconsin?. Update: November, 2012 Rick Hall Nancy Molfenter. Employment First Wisconsin Definition.

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Employment First – What ’ s Happening in Wisconsin?

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Employment first what s happening in wisconsin

Employment First – What’s Happening in Wisconsin?

Update: November, 2012

Rick Hall

Nancy Molfenter


Employment first wisconsin definition

Employment First WisconsinDefinition

Employment First refers to the affirmation in local, state, and federal public policies and practices that employment in integrated settings at minimum wage or higher with commensurate benefits is a priority objective and preferred outcome of publicly-funded services provided to citizens with disabilities, regardless of disability. It is based upon a core set of principles and practices that promote individualized planning and support for employment options.


Employment first wisconsin principles

Employment First Wisconsin Principles

The current low participation rate of citizens with disabilities in the workforce is unacceptable.

Access to “real jobs with real wages” is essential if citizens with disabilities are to avoid lives of poverty, dependence, and isolation.

It is presumed that all working age adults and youths with disabilities can work in jobs fully integrated within the general workforce, working side-by-side with co-workers without disabilities, earning minimum wage or higher.


Employment first wisconsin principles1

Employment First Wisconsin Principles

  • As with all other individuals, employees with disabilities require assistance and support to ensure job success and should have access to those supports necessary to succeed in the workplace.

  • All citizens, regardless of disability, have the right to pursue the full range of available employment opportunities, and to earn a living wage in a job of their choosing, based on their talents, skills, and interests.

  • Implementation of Employment First principles must be based on clear public policies and practices that ensure employment of citizens with disabilities within the general workforce is the priority for public funding and service delivery.


Employment first wisconsin principles2

Employment First Wisconsin Principles

Inclusion or exclusion of the specific term “Employment First” does not determine whether a public system or agency has adopted Employment First principles. Such a determination can only be made in examining whether the underlying policies, procedures and infrastructure are designed for and ultimately result in increased integrated employment in the general workforce for citizens with disabilities.


Employment first wisconsin characteristics of success

Employment First Wisconsin Characteristics of Success

There are measurable increases in employment of citizens with disabilities within the general workforce, earning minimum wage or higher with benefits.

Greater opportunities exist for citizens with disabilities to pursue self-employment and the development of microenterprises.

Employment is the first and preferred option when exploring goals and a life path for citizens with disabilities.

Citizens with disabilities are employed within the general workforce, regardless of the severity of disability and assistance required.


Employment first wisconsin characteristics of success1

Employment First Wisconsin Characteristics of Success

Young people with disabilities have work experiences that are typical of other teenagers and young adults.

Employers universally value individuals with disabilities as an integral part of their workforce, and include people with disabilities within general recruitment and hiring efforts as standard practice.

Individuals with disabilities have increased incomes, financial assets, and economic wealth.

Citizens with disabilities have greater opportunities to advance in their careers, by taking full advantage of their individual strengths and talents.


Employment first wisconsin characteristics of success2

Employment First Wisconsin Characteristics of Success

Funding is sufficient so that quality services and supports are available as needed for long-term employment success.

A decision not to consider employment in the community for an individual is re-evaluated on a regular basis; the reasons and rationale for this decision are fully documented and addressed in service provision.


Employment first wisconsin structure

Employment First WisconsinStructure

  • Leadership Committee

    • Policy Subcommittee

  • Community Action Teams

  • EF Project part of Alliance for Full Participation (AFP) State Team


Employment first wisconsin facets of the effort leadership committee

Employment First Wisconsin Facets of the Effort – Leadership Committee

Oversight of efforts

Provision of Ideas to project leaders, WI APSE, Community Action Leaders, and Policy Team

Support for project activities on the ground via marketing, attendance at activities, engagement of others through networking


Employment first wisconsin facets of the effort policy

Employment First Wisconsin Facets of the Effort - Policy

  • Policy – Changing state legislation and agency policies to align with EF goals

    • DHS, DVR, DPI set targets for increased integrated employment outcomes

    • Set targets to monitor and shift resources to support integrated employment outcomes

    • Establish monitoring and annual reporting systems to document progress


Employment first wisconsin facets of the effort grassroots

Employment First WisconsinFacets of the Effort – Grassroots

  • Current Community Action Team Leaders & Locations:

    • Andrjez Walz-Chojnacki – Greater Milwaukee

    • Beth Lohmann – Waukesha/Milwaukee Suburbs

    • Tammy Forseth and Maribeth Hartung – Eau Claire area

    • Mary Beth Popchock – Racine area

    • Mary Survis – Grafton area

    • Bill – Duerkop – Rice Lake

    • Jenny Felty – Ashland

    • Tom Schmit – Iowa County

    • Doug Hunt and Anna Park – Madison

    • David Koenig – Manitowoc


Employment first wisconsin facets of the effort grassroots activities

Employment First WisconsinFacets of the Effort – Grassroots Activities

  • Community Action Teams (CATs)

    • Hold local promotional events

      • Community Conversations

      • Employer/Employee Awards

      • School Transition Fairs

      • Parent Trainings

      • Other????


Employment first wisconsin facets of the effort collaboration

Employment First WisconsinFacets of the Effort - Collaboration

  • Possible Collaborators

    • Transition Action Committees (TACs)

    • WSTI

    • Service provider consortia

    • Parent training organizations

    • Consumer advocacy groups – People First, In Control, NAMI, Autism Society, etc.


Employment first wisconsin accomplishments to date

Employment First WisconsinAccomplishments to Date

Formed Committees / Teams

Coordinated Integrated Employment Summit (5/22/12)

Held EF regional discussion groups

Expanded partnership to People First & In Control

Provided planning materials to CAT’s

Identified Community Action Team Leaders

Completed National Employment First Background Report


Employment first wisconsin accomplishments to date1

Employment First WisconsinAccomplishments to Date

Adapted national APSE EF materials for LGTW student legislative visits

Collaborated with Survival Coalition – Disability Awareness Day, EF Statement, EF draft legislation language, budget paper

Second Integrated Employment Event of 2012 Featuring Employment First


Employment first wisconsin plans

Employment First WisconsinPlans

  • RFP for CAT demonstrations – Just out – due tomorrow

  • Training for CATs

    • Community Organizing

    • Event Planning

    • Working with businesses, families, schools


Employment first wisconsin how can you get involved

Employment First WisconsinHow Can You Get Involved?

Meet with local colleagues: families, teachers, providers, businesses

Discuss forming a local EF group

Contact a Community Action Team leader, or

Contact Nancy – [email protected]

Rick – rth1948gmail.com

or Ann - [email protected]


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