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What is Supported Employment? – by CityStream guest blogger Heather Weldon

Supported Employment is a creative and cost-effective approach to meeting business needs and including people with developmental disabilities in the workforce. Supported Employment positions are customized to meet employers’ specific entry-level needs and to take advantage of the skills of the job candidate. A variety of tasks can be bundled into a customized position creating a win-win solution for both the employer and the employee.

City of Seattle's Supported Employment Program

Photo by Jen Nance

Job coaches provide on-the-job training (coaching) as needed for the supported employee and coaches are also a valuable resource to the entire workplace. Job coaches are available at no cost to any employer who hires a supported employee. Coaches are dispatched from local community agencies that serve the employment-related needs of people with developmental disabilities.

The City of Seattle’s Supported Employment program is considered a “best practices” model and has been recognized nationally and internationally. The City of Seattle has twice received the Governor’s Employer of the Year award for outstanding inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in the workforce. The City of Seattle currently employs 60 supported employees.

For more information contact Heather Weldon at heather.weldon@seattle.gov or call (206) 684-7922.

Watch the CityStream segment on Supported Employment Program now: