Employment First for Transitioning Youth
Jessica Stehle, VA DARS
Employment First is not a program or a plan, it is a movement that aligns and supports the philosophy that all people, including persons with complex support needs, are presumed capable of competitive integrated employment. In 2012, Virginia established the Employment First Initiative to raise expectations, implement better practices, and align policies to promote employment for all. Educators, families, service agencies, and community partners have a vital role in preparing students to live full productive lives in their communities. In efforts to improve the postsecondary outcomes for individuals with disabilities, we must make sure that all stakeholders possess the philosophy that anyone who wants to work is able to do so with the proper support.