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What does it take to build an employment collaborative for people with disabilities?

by Henry, A. D., Laszlo, A., & Nicholson, J.

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, . (2015). What does it take to build an employment collaborative for people with disabilities?. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 43(1), 1 - 15.
https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-150750

Henry, A. D., Laszlo, A., & Nicholson, J. (2015). What does it take to build an employment collaborative for people with disabilities? Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 43(1), 1-15.

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Collaboration among employment service providers has been suggested as one strategy for enhancing outcomes for people with disabilities. Yet, little research exists on the process of collaboration building or factors that contribute to effective collaboration among employment providers.

OBJECTIVE: We engaged partners of five Regional Employment Collaboratives (RECs) in Massachusetts to identify the critical elements needed to build and sustain an employment collaborative.

METHODS: We used concept mapping, a mixed-method approach that included brainstorming sessions during which REC partners generated statements in response to the research question – what does it take to build and sustain an employment collaborative? Partners sorted statements thematically and rated statements in terms of importance and challenge. Sorting and rating data were analyzed using multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis.

RESULTS: The analysis yielded six “clusters” reflecting critical elements in building and sustaining a collaborative. Three elements, build trust and respect, do business differently and have effective structures and processes, are consistent with the literature on general collaborative building. The other three elements, address employer needs, engage job developers, and innovate strategically, reflect activities specific to an employment-focused collaborative.

CONCLUSIONS: Collaboration is a complex and time-consuming undertaking, but holds promise as a way to enhance employment outcomes for people with disabilities. 

 

Reprinted from the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation with permission from IOS Press.