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HVRP Factsheet #10: Customized Job Development for Homeless Veterans with Disabilities

by Cary Griffin

Available formats:    PDF


The more significant an individual’s disability, and the more complex a person’s life, the more robust any job development effort must be. Most homeless veteran's circumstances certainly pose complex barriers to employment, so traditional competitive approaches often prove ineffective. A customized method that circumvents traditional job search steps is needed. Customized Employment (CE) is not a service model or program, rather it is a process that builds on, short-circuits, or leverages other means of getting work. In short, CE methods minimize the use of comparative strategies that so often prove the undoing of traditional job development efforts. Even if applicants for a job are equally qualified, when employers weigh each applicant’s potential, the individual with a disability is almost always disqualified. Because the vast majority of companies in the United States are small, hiring is still largely a personal decision. Matching applicants to places of employment that fulfill their “ideal conditions of employment” and using career exploration tactics including informational interviews and short-duration situational assessments or work trials, creates opportunities allowing the company owner or manager time to recognize shared interests between themselves and the job seeker. This exampleenhances personal connections and augments hiring potential.

In the past, much of the emphasis of rehabilitation has been the final stages of job development: prospecting; sales pitches; overcoming objections; and deal closings. In CE, the front-end work gets a healthier dose of attention, laying a solid foundation of job development to build upon. This foundation bears most of the weight of the effort, and cutting corners here turns the job search back into a traditional search for openings.

This factsheet covers the following topics:
  • Assessment
  • Discovery
  • Economic Development
  • Job Development
To read the entire factsheet click here.