Business ACTS Supported Apprenticeships

Business –Led Apprenticeships
for People with Disabilities
Presentation for the NCCD : Reaching the Summit of Success
September 16, 2015
Patricia K. Keul, CEO, Founder, Business ACTS
Sid Smith, Executive Director, NCBLN
Our Goals for Today
 Introduce Business ACTS
 Introduce our Partner Agencies
 Why Apprenticeships
 How Business ACTS Works
 How you can become involved
Presenter Introductions
Patricia K. Keul
 CEO & Founder- Business
 CESP- Certified Employment
Support Professional –
national credential programfounder and first director
 30 years experience managing
supported employment
 30+ years in education,
Sid Smith
 Executive Director, NCBLN
 40+ years in non-profit
 Owner, SALCO Consulting
LLC, an association
management company
 International speaker,
lecturer and writer
 Personally: 40% disabled
Partners in Business ACTS
In Reach NC ( 35 years- founded in NC )
provides a wide variety of services, including:
 Community Guide
 Community Outreach/Innovations
 Community Works!?/CAET
 Deaf Services
 First in Families
 Group Homes
 Independent Community Housing
 Supervised Living
 Personal Assistance including AFL Homes and Respite
 Vocational Services
Overview of the NCBLN
 Who We Are and What We Emphasize: Three core focuses
 A true business-to-business network of companies, that advocate for
& assist other business to:
 Hire people with disabilities;
 Do business with companies owned & operated by people with
disabilities; and
 Market to people with disabilities
We do this for business reasons: finding talent/market share
A core-group of companies & agencies working together
Affiliated with the USBLN
What we do not do: lobby; take resumes; do the hiring
What Our Major Programs Are
 Organized Active Groups in Charlotte, Greensboro &
 Hold quarterly meetings (Business oriented content)
 Annual Conference during “Disability Employment
Awareness Month”
 Newsletter
 Website (
 Public Relations Outreach to Other Organizations
North Carolina Business Leadership Network (NCBLN)
“Toolkits” for Business
Where Does the NCBLN Come In:
Our Core Participants Across the State
 Bank of America
 Carolinas Health Care System
 NC Div. of Vocational Rehabilitation
 Duke Energy
 Pitney Bowes
 Eaton Corporation
 PricewaterhouseCoopers
 Fifth Third Bank
 Spinergy
 Goodwill Industries
 Sun Trust Bank
 Harris Teeter
 Sunshine Cleaners
 The Westin
 ITT-Technical Institute
 Verizon Wireless
 LabCorp
 Walgreens
 Lenovo
 Wells Fargo
 Lowe’s Companies, Inc.
 Western Carolina University
 Mecklenburg County
 And many others…
What is Business ACTS?
 The first apprenticeship program designed for people
with IDD in North Carolina- one of the very first in the
 A copyright protected & trademark protected- model
program created & owned by Patricia K. Keul, CEO &
 A “turn-key” fidelity based model- that makes it easy
for businesses to host successful apprenticeships
 A model demonstration in Mecklenburg Co- that we
intend to replicate across the state & nation.
Why Apprenticeships?
 National Unemployment rates among individuals with
IDD range from 55 to 75 %
 Despite supported employment- sheltered work and
day programs are still dominant
 Under employment in part time, low wage jobs is
 Most employed are in stereotypical low wage
Food service, Landscaping, Janitorial, Maintenance
Why Apprenticeships?
Common in Europe & other developed
Long tradition (hundreds of years!) –
apprenticeships are a proven model for
training skilled trades
Graduates from Apprentice Programs:
•Secure higher demand/high value
careers –not just a job
•Earn while they learn- Apprentices
are paid a training wage = to at least
minimum wage-day one!
•Earn more money
•Get better benefits
Apprenticeships Versus Internships
 Apprentices are hired and
paid –day one (at least
minimum wage or training
wage during internship
 Apprentices fulfill a job title
& role
 Businesses- PULL in
Apprentices and define the
training program.
 Federal definition- USDOL
registered apprenticeships
 Usually not paid- or offer just
a stipend
Usually “sample” job tasks, do
not fulfill a job title(USDOL) issues!
Vary in length & interface
with education program
Loosely defined- unless part
of a fidelity based model
“PUSH” versus “PULL”
Where are the Apprenticeships
for People with Disabilities?
 Even in Europe & other developed countries like
Australia- apprenticeships for people with disabilities
are scare! WHY?
Disability focused- not business focused!
2. Poorly trained- employment support staff- who are not
3. Disability services make it hard for business to
implement apprenticeships for individuals with
Where are the Apprenticeships for
People with IDD?
Apprenticeships are BUSINESS- LED- Not agency driven!
Businesses need our assistance to :
 Identify jobs that are a good fit for people with IDD
 Develop & adapt job training for people with IDD
 Train our staff to support the business side- not just the
person with IDD
 Follow- Through on commitments to serve the business
goals and mission.
Administers Program in Mecklenburg Co.- INREACH is a well
respected non- profit in Charlotte NC
Provides trained employment support professionals
Provides candidates with IDD for apprenticeship selection
Follow- Along support after apprentices are hire permanently by the
host business
Job Placement for apprentices not hired permanently by the host
 Acts as a business liaison to support the host business
 Helps the partners to identify job titles or create job
titles to build apprenticeships around
 Promotes the replication of Business ACTS &
promotes and encourages business-focus versus
agency focus
Develops the curriculum and job task training tools to select & train
Creates templates & tailors them to the host employer’s needs- to
track work performance, supervision, evaluation of apprentices
Trains and the employment support professionals- consults with
INREACH on supervision
Replicates the program model
Owns the copyright and trademark for Business ACTS
How Business ACTS Works
Preparation Phase
 Target List: Employers & Businesses of 200 or more
 Presentation of Business ACTS opportunity to key
decision makers
 Memorandum of Agreement between all partners
 Jobs Identified for Apprentices – tasks analyzedBusiness ACTS develops training protocols
 In Reach recruits candidates with IDD
 Business interviews and selects candidates for
Job Training Phase
 Business ACTS trains In Reach employment support staff
 Business ACTS trains host employer’s staff
 Start Date - apprentices begin training on –the- job with In
Reach employment support professionals there to adapt
the training
 Any “class room training” developed and delivered as
 Data on job performance of apprentices is collected
throughout training phase
 Surveys of co-worker| supervisor | customer evaluations of
apprentices conducted each week
Mastery Phase: Successful Graduation
 Apprenticeship time frame and defined skills to mastery –
identified in MOA
 Successful apprentices may be hired permanently by the
host employer
 Or may be offered assistance to find permanent work in
other businesses based on training they have mastered
 All successful apprentices get :
A certificate of completion
Professional resume
Portfolio of experience
Letters of reference
Assistance with job development
Supported Apprenticeship versus
Supported Employment?
Supported Apprenticeship
 Business-led- employer more
engaged in defining training
Memorandum of Agreement
defines services and training
Business ACTS vets and trains all
employment support
professionals & employer staff
Consistent data collection &
Consistent – turn key – for
High demand- jobs, larger
Supported Employment
 Employers – pushed to hire
 Employment support
professionals vary widely in
their training skills
 Services provided without an
MOA to define termstraining terms, mastery
criteria for individuals placed
 Focus more on small
employers, traditional jobs.
How You Can Become Involved?
 Request to become a Business ACTS – program as:
1. A Community Rehab. Provider- or
2. Supporter/Advocate
 Support the expansion of the NCBLN
1. Bring your employers to NCBLN meetings and events
2. Promote engaging business leaders in joining the
Time for Your Questions?
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the
unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to
himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable
man.” ……………………………………………………George Bernard Shaw
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