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Developing meaningful relationships with employers is a critical component of the individual placement and support and customized employment process. Employment specialists representing job seekers with significant disabilities must have basic business acumen to determine employer needs, develop customized job descriptions, and maintain customized jobs.
This presentation will explore how employment specialists can more meaningfully engage with employers during the relationship building process. Specifically, the presentation will review results of a focus group designed to learn about employer’s views about customized employment. The presenter will outline several themes that emerged from the analysis of focus group sessions including (a) business need, (b) networking, (c) communication, (d) training, and (e) financial implications. Recommendations about how to improve and maintain meaningful relationships with employers will be provided.