CAREERS AND COMPETETIVE EMPLOYMENT

The job market of the 21st century has become increasingly competitive, with employment outcomes often favoring individuals with higher levels of education, job training, and previous work experience. With many current occupations requiring specialized sets of skills and previous training for entry level positions, postsecondary education has become an essential pillar in the modern market. Currently, and over the next decade, postsecondary education represents a great opportunity for individuals with disabilities to bridge the gap in employment they currently face when compared to their peers without disabilities, as many of the occupations projected to grow in the next decade require some form of postsecondary training. 

To aid individuals with intellectual/developmental disability in the pursuit of gainful employment, FOCUS utilizes post-secondary education to provide fully inclusive programs of study, structured job internships, and person centered planning, culminating in an Occupational and Career Life Studies Certificate (OCLSC). OCLSCs are designed to meet the person centered values of each student and each certificate path will be individualized based on individual experiences, supports, and needs. The OCLSC will provide an individualized academic and work experience curriculum based on each student’s career choice to help them in the pursuit of preferred independent employment.