The Valley Collaborative Adult Services Programs have been providing job placement, training and support services to adults with disabilities since 1987. These services are funded through the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC).
Today and Tomorrow Work Services
Today and Tomorrow Work Services assists individuals turning 22 to continue to receive support in order to work in the community. The services address each individual’s identified goals regarding involvement in personal or community activities and work status. Referrals are accepted from the DDS Lowell area office. Referrals from out of region are negotiated.
Community Based Day Services
Community Based Day Services (CBDS) are provided with respect to the six quality of life areas outlined by the Department of Mental Retardation: Respect and dignity Individual control Community membership Relationships Personal growth and accomplishment Personal well being
An array of activities is provided from which individual scan choose to participate. Although work is not the primary goal for the people in CBDS, they are provided the opportunity to participate in work experiences through Valley Collaborative community-based employment contracts with local companies or our own entrepreneurial businesses.
People who participate in supported work services are provided with work opportunities in the areas of interior plant maintenance, building maintenance, merchandise processing, food service, mail processing and packaging and assembly.
If an individual finds an interest other than what is currently offered by established work contracts, work experiences can be established on an individual basis. An Valley Collaborative job coach may accompany individuals to an internship or volunteer placement initially. Valley Collaborative staff will facilitate natural supports and attempt to fade out. Several individuals now work competitively as a result of these internships.
Adults participating in Today and Tomorrow work services are invited to join bi-weekly Work Activities discussions. These are informal meetings that provide individuals with the opportunity to learn about topics like human rights, self-advocating, health issues, voter registration and work safety. Other topics of conversation may include worker of the month, facility improvement and current events topics. In addition, Valley Collaborative also offers after work recreation social events and a semi formal dance.
Valley Collaborative is a participating provider of the Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES) program established by The Executive Office of Health and Human Services. Both MRC and DDS fund Valley Collaborative to utilize all five CIES service components to adults with disabilities. The five CIES comprehensive services components include: Intake, Evaluation, and Assessment of consumer’s vocational interests and goals.Job-targeted Educational and Skills Training Activities including soft or technical skills that will prepare consumers to enter the job search and placement environment. Job Development/Placement services to obtain employment and support to maintain consumer’s employment. Initial Employment Supports are provided to stabilize competitive employment from the thirty-first day through ninety days. Ongoing Supports are offered past ninety days with supports where and when needed.
Valley Collaborative’s job development team has eight members totaling over 100 years of experience in building community business partnerships and working to assist people with disabilities find and secure competitive employment.