Tips for the Employment Planning Meeting

by Marc Gold & Associates
Prior to planning develop a capacity-driven Profile empowering the student and their family with information to “see” employment as a real outcome, and:
  • To understand how their participation is necessary for the student to be employed in a customized job
  • To include special considerations and concerns of the family & student.

Prior to the meeting review the Profile with the student and their family and obtain approval on the document.

  • Encourage the student and family to come prepared to list their contributions, preferences/special interests, ideal conditions of employment at the meeting.
  • Distribute the Profile to all participants with a cover letter directing them to read the Profile before the meeting and to come prepared with questions or additional information.
  • Explain how the meeting will need to be facilitated, such as writing on wall charts, maintaining flow of meeting, and staying on task. Ask the student what role they would like to play in their meeting. Who do they want to write & to facilitate the meeting, always keeping them in control?
  • Discuss the length of the meeting and determine the needed time for full participation of the student and plan accordingly.

Meeting set up: Meet with the student and family if appropriate immediately before the meeting to review the meeting purpose & to discuss employment.

  • Review the meeting agenda (ideal conditions, preferences/interests, contributions, job tasks, employers).
  • Ask the student which ground rules they would like at their meeting, suggesting ones that you feel would be helpful since you have met the people coming to the meeting.
  • Talk about the student’s control or decision-making power, particularly focusing on “when” information is placed on the flip charts and prioritizing specific information, what is written on the flip charts and employers for job development.
  • Discuss seating. If someone else is facilitating, explain they will need to sit next to the person who is writing and that during the plan the person facilitating will ask them questions to keep them in the “lead” of the plan.

The Vocational Profile Meeting:

  • Ensure that everyone has a copy of the Profile.
  • Discuss meeting purpose and agenda and have visible and posted on the wall.
    Student or facilitator review the purpose of the meeting, post ground rules, explain the student/family veto power, and ask about meeting participant time commitments.
  • If the student needs extra time to communicate, or several of the team members cannot stay until the end of the meeting, consider breaking the meeting into 2 meetings.
  • Begin listing ideal conditions of employment, then interests and preferences, and contributions. Ask everyone to contribute. Don’t wait for the student to offer all the information. This is not a test for the student; it is a time to celebrate the “best of the student”. The student should validate information before it is recorded.
  • For students who don’t read, consider using icons in addition to written information, especially in the area of ideal conditions (contributions, interests, and conditions), job tasks, and employment sites.
  • When listing job tasks, continually validate that they match the ideal conditions and contributions of the student. Use phrases like, “help me, how does this fit” to maintain free flowing brain storming activity.
  • After a free flowing brainstorming of job tasks, summarize them into common job tasks. Ask the student which they would like to discuss first, second…
  • List the tasks in a column on the left and begin listing potential corresponding employers on the right of the flip chart paper, paying special attention to interests and possible transportation and contacts. Use the employment site list developed in the Profile, section 1, number l or m.
  • Ask team members if they know someone at each of the businesses. When complete, ask the student to prioritize which employers they would like you to contact.

Next Steps:

  • Determine if the following activities can be accomplished within the existing time of the Vocational Planning Meeting or if another time is necessary. If another time is necessary, establish the time for the next step.
  • The Job developer can complete the Characteristics of Ideal Job Checklist during the Profile meeting, which they can use later to evaluate potential of job match.
  • Begin Job Development Plan, outlining the next steps and the person who is responsible for each.
  • At the end of the meeting, process with the student and their job development team. Did they get the information they needed to do the next step? What worked? What would you do differently next meeting?
  • Review typed up minutes of the meeting with the student prior to disseminating to team members. Double-check with the student to see if they continue to prioritize the employers the same in a 1:1 situation.