The Progressive Employment (PE) Learning Collaborative of state VR agencies and partners at the Institute for Community Inclusion will share an overview of the key components of the Progressive Employment model, implementation strategies, and outcomes to date. The current PE Learning Collaborative consists of four state VR agencies that are geographically and structurally diverse (Vermont DVR, Oregon CFB, Nebraska VR, and Maine DVR), each bringing a unique perspective and experience to implementing Progressive Employment. In June 2021, four new state VR agencies will join the PE Learning Collaborative as they prepare to implement the PE model in their states, with the goal of improving employment outcomes for jobseekers with disabilities as well as businesses. This session will offer insights to the challenges and successes of implementing an employment practice with an emerging evidence base for both current and new members of the PE Learning Collaborative.
The Progressive Employment (PE) model is a dual-customer, team approach that uses work-based learning strategies to meet the needs of businesses and jobseekers with barriers to employment. Originating in Vermont Division of Vocational Rehabilitation in 2009, the PE model has been replicated in multiple state VR agencies in the last decade. Through the peer-to-peer Learning Collaborative approach, the VR agencies and partners at the Institute for Community Inclusion have identified solutions to operational, policy, and financial challenges that may impede adoption of the Progressive Employment model in other states. In this presentation, the ICI and state VR personnel will discuss the effort to “scale up” Progressive Employment and support widespread adoption of the model, with the expectation that it will benefit the agencies and the individuals they serve, while also meeting the needs of other stakeholders including businesses, federal funders, and researchers who depend on VR agencies to engage in efforts to promote evidence-based practices in rehabilitation.
Meet the Presenter:
Kelly Haines, MA, is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Community Inclusion. Kelly has a background in providing direct services to individuals with disabilities and is a trained social science researcher. At the ICI, Kelly has engaged in research promoting employment for individuals with disabilities since 2009. In this role, Kelly has worked in partnership with state vocational rehabilitation agencies and community rehabilitation providers to embed research and evaluation activities in employment service delivery systems, with the goal of building an evidence base for promising practices, such as Progressive Employment and the Upskill/Backfill Career Pathways Advancement model.