Supported Employment Network

The Supported Employment Network, funded by the Department of Developmental Services, is a collaboration between the SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce and several area organizations who provide work search assistance and support to people with disabilities. The mission of the Network is to create a greater awareness in the business community about the skills and employability of people with disabilities.

Network members provide support to 289 individuals with disabilities.

Network members are working with 163 employers.

There are 102 individuals with disabilities looking for employment or additional employment.

Supported Employment Network Participated in NTAR study for Department of Labor

The SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce Supported Employment Network was recently noted and studied as a star example by the National Technical Assistance and Research (NTAR) Leadership Center for a US Department of Labor handbook.

Here is the final draft of the booklet that was produced for the US Department of Labor as a result of the study that was done by the NTAR committee last year. The SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce Supported Employment Network is highlighted starting at page 80 for this attachment.

What is Supported Employment?

senIt is an employment option that provides the necessary support (such as a job coach or transportation) an individual with a disability may need to be successfully and gainfully employed.

It promotes productivity and worker/employer satisfaction by matching job seekers’ skills to suitable job openings thereby ensuring success.

It offers businesses the ability to tap into a labor force with marketable skills, a strong work ethic and unbounded enthusiasm for work. It often results in reduced recruitment turnover and training costs.

Employers Benefit from Supported Employment by:

  • Hiring dependable employees who are committed to doing the job creating less turnover
  • Having easy access to an expanded labor pool and prescreened, qualified employees
  • Expanding the diversity of their workforce
  • Assisting the employer in training the new employee

Individuals who are gainfully employed:

  • Gain from the experience
  • Increase their earnings to spend in their communities
  • Increase independence from entitlement programs
  • Increase their opportunities to make friends and their sense of belonging in their communities

Network Members:

  • SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce
  • Better Community Living, Inc.
  • Lifestream, Inc.
  • M.O.Life, Inc
  • New Bedford Area Department of Developmental Services

For more information contact Joanne Rego, Supported Employment Network Coordinator at 508-999-5231, ext. 28 or email jrego@newbedfordchamber.com