Early consideration of the successful transition back to one's home community is a vital part of the Rehabilitation Team process for VR consumers served at WWRC.  Effective planning facilitates successful community re-integration with a positive employment outcome.   Effective planning requires full engagement of the WWRC Rehabilitation Team, which includes the VR consumer and his/her DRS Rehabilitation Counselor.   If the DRS Rehabilitation Counselor (and other community partners where indicated) is unable to attend in person, video-conference and conference call options should be considered. 


This written plan describes the process through which placement services are planned, implemented, and evaluated.  


Coordination of Placement Services


The coordination of Placement Services for WWRC Vocational Training graduates is ultimately a joint effort of the WWRC Rehabilitation Team, led by the WWRC Rehabilitation Counselor and the DARS/DRS Rehabilitation Counselor in the home community, in consultation with an assigned DARS/DRS Placement Counselor and other community partners, as applicable.  Upon enrollment, each student is assigned a WWRC Rehabilitation Counselor who is accountable for helping the student define rehabilitation goals and services to achieve these goals, as well as document ongoing progress towards attainment of goals.  The student and his/her rehabilitation counselor, in partnership with other members of the assigned rehabilitation team, mutually determine the level and type of placement service(s) anticipated to be needed as part of development of an Individual Plan for Employment (IPE).   This IPE can be modified, at any time, based on needs and progress towards attainment of goals. 


No later than forty-five to sixty (45-60) days prior to anticipated program completion, the WWRC Rehabilitation Counselor is expected to convene a Rehabilitation Team meeting that focuses on final home community transition planning considerations, options, and goals.  This specialized Rehabilitation Team meeting should include the DRS Job Placement Counselor and/or Employment Service Organization (ESO) representative, if feasible and appropriate to the types of services the VR consumer will need upon return to the home community, to optimize utilization of their services.  With the consumer's permission, family members may be invited to reinforce available natural support systems.  Final home community transition planning should consider any strategies and techniques, including 'wrap-around support' services, that were demonstrated to be successful in the WWRC residential environment and that may assist the VR consumer as they transfer back to their home community. 


Maintaining Effective Communication Networks Among Partners

The WWRC Rehabilitation Counseling Division has lead responsibility for establishment and maintenance of an effective communication network between placement counselors, faculty and staff, community organizations and Agency referral sources, and business/industry resources to facilitate effective placement services for graduates of WWRC's vocational training programs.  Rehabilitation team members, including the student, his/her natural support system, and internal and external partners, are each mutually accountable for successful employment outcomes.    


WWRC partners with Agency colleagues and vendors to facilitate workforce linkages that are anticipated to result in successful employment outcomes for mutual VR consumers.    These workforce linkages include options for community-based internships, job placement, and employment supports.  Agency Business Development Managers (BDMs), Job Placement Counselors, and Employment Service Organizations (ESOs) are essential resources that help bridge the gap between WWRC as a training provider and Business/Industry internship and employment opportunities.  Rehabilitation Team discharge planning processes consider information obtained from these resources to facilitate appropriate workforce readiness and skill transfer into workplace settings.

Combining disability expertise with a professional understanding and appreciation of workforce business challenges, community-based workforce partners may contribute to quality discharge planning processes in the following ways:

  • DRS Business Development Managers (BDMs) facilitate systems development related to new and existing economic markets and corporate networks.   The WWRC Career and Workforce Development Division Director stays closely connected to the BDM professional network to facilitate alignment of WWRC's training programs with evolving business needs across the Commonwealth and to maintain ongoing information flow with WWRC Rehabilitation Team members.  Information gained allows the WWRC Rehabilitation Team to make informed decisions during discharge planning processes.  
  • DRS Job Placement Counselors, qualified Agency Rehabilitation Counselors with specialized workforce development skills, are knowledgeable of local and regional employment opportunities, both current and projected.   They assist the DRS Rehabilitation Counselor and VR consumer in the identification of possible placement leads.  They may also assist in the identification of viable internship options for VR consumers interested in a community-based internship (e.g. as an alternative to an internship in the local community surrounding WWRC) following successful completion of classroom-based competencies.  An internship in the consumer's home community may lead to a bona-fide job opportunity if the consumer has performed well, a job opportunity exists for which the consumer is qualified, and an offer of employment is made.
  • Employment Service Organizations, a network of community rehabilitation providers, provide employment and vocational services across the Commonwealth.   WWRC training graduates may benefit from ESO services if needing short-term job coach training services or more long-term supported employment services post-WWRC discharge.    While the WWRC Rehabilitation Team may make a recommendation regarding the potential support needs of an ESO during discharge planning processes, the DRS Counselor in the home community has final decision-making authority. 

    Students are encouraged to participate in local, regional, and statewide job seeking/keeping skill (JSS/JKS) workshops and seminars, as well as Job Fairs, communicated and coordinated through the Employment Resource Center "arm" of the campus Media Center.    Students have the opportunity to conduct Internet job searches during JSS classes and may also receive assistance in completing application materials.  Due to staffing irregularities over the past several years, the Employment Resource Center has been unable to routinely coordinate and host quarterly Employer Panels for dialogue between students and business/industry representatives regarding expectations and standards, but this is a goal to reinitiate as soon as capacity allows.

    Employers and Employment Opportunities as Placement Resources

    Students enrolled in WWRC's vocational training programs have both experiential and "real-time" access to employer networks and employment opportunities.   Students in most training programs participate in at least one community-based internship experience to apply skills acquired in the classroom and obtain feedback from an employer, independent of faculty assessment, regarding performance and mastery of skills required for the field.  The Student Internship Program (SIP) Coordinator maintains a listing of participating employers who serve as internship mentors specific to each occupational education career field.   Students may participate in internships in the community surrounding WWRC or wherever they reside, as part of the successful re-entry and transition to the home community.    Instructors serve as resources in the identification of new employers for statewide internships specific to a given student's needs.

    Students also have "real-time" access to employment opportunities through Internet-based resources that can be accessed through the Vocational Evaluation Department, Rehabilitation Counseling Division, and Employment Resource/Media Center.  Participation in Job Fairs and Employer Panel Discussions, when able to be coordinated, also offer effective employment networking opportunities for students. 

    File/Listing of Employers and Employment Opportunities

    Current membership of WWRC's Occupational Advisory Committees is maintained on file in the department's administrative office and is updated at least annually.  Students have access to employment opportunities and job leads through the statewide network of Workforce Centers operated by the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC).   The Employment Resource/Media Center Coordinator routinely assists students in registering with and demonstrating use of resources available through the VEC prior to graduation.   DRS Placement and Rehabilitation Counselors are also available to assist in the identification of local employment opportunities in the home community.  Agency Business Development Managers can facilitate linkages based on regional workforce needs. 

    Student Counseling and Guidance


    Students are provided counseling and guidance relative to placement and employment opportunities through the Rehabilitation Counseling Division, located in the Anderson Training Building.   Students have access to their assigned Rehabilitation Counselor, by appointment, Monday through Friday, 8 AM – 3:30 PM.  

    Maintenance and Retrieval of Placement Records

    The official source of Placement Records is the AWARE client database, as supplemented by offline databases prior approved for use by the WWRC Lead Program Evaluation (PE) Analyst.   The Vocational Training Department Accreditation and Licensure Specialist provides support to the gathering of information from offline databases under the direction of the Lead PE Analyst. All placement data used for reporting to internal and external audiences must be verified by the Lead PE Analyst prior to dissemination.   

    Placement data is routinely shared with Vocational Training Department administration and instructional staff by program/course offering, and at an aggregate departmental level.  Trending placement data is shared with Occupational Advisory Committees to identify areas for curricular enhancements and relevance to job requirements.   Graduate placement data is also reported at organization and Agency levels to measure success against targeted performance metrics.   

    More details about the maintenance and retrieval of placement records are contained in WWRC's Plan for Follow-Up