The Vocational Rehabilitation Department at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute provides an opportunity for people with disabilities to assess career options and to improve personal skills and practices that will enable them to find employment, work effectively and live independently.
Short term on the job work experience to help people learn about their career options
Career experiences are provided by professionals in their respective occupations
Programs are provided to high school age students (age 15-21) and adults with disabilities
Vocational Evaluation – helps to uncover interests and abilities a person has through testing and aids in the development of an individualized career plan. The vocational evaluation includes:
Hands-on activities or work samples
On the job experience
Realistic job opportunities are recommended in a written report
Services are Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) approved.
Career Development Program for Adults – allows people to try different work opportunities in a real work environment within the medical center and nearby community organizations and businesses. Paid work opportunities are available in some programs. Individual and group counseling is provided to all participants. Participants of the program develop the skills, behaviors, and motivation to Choose, Get and Keep Employment utilizing the independent living skills learned.
Harriet P. Findlay Career Development Program–is the cornerstone of the Vocational Rehabilitation Department, providing high school students in transition with the skills needed to achieve their goals. Participants of the program develop the skills, behaviors, and the motivation to Choose, Get and Keep Employment utilizing the independent living skills learned.
Learn to use transportation options
Use of technology as assistive devices
Learn self-advocacy skills
Extended school year program is offered
Social and recreational activities
Our staff includes vocational counselors and occupational therapists who are NJ licensed and nationally certified. Professional instructors and rehabilitation assistants are integral members of the team that provide services.
Laboratory Assistant Training Program – is a skill based program to prepare individuals for entry level work in a laboratory environment. Our graduates are trained in the classroom, both academically and by hands-on laboratory exercises. Their education is further supplemented by laboratory tours of clinical, environmental, testing and research laboratories at various corporate representatives’ sites.
The typical positions our graduates are hired to work in include:
Laboratory Assistants & Aides / Glass Washers / Accessioners Specimen Processors / Data Entry Workers / QC Inspectors / Consumer Evaluation / Customer Service Reps / Lab Couriers / Sensory Lab Workers / and similar jobs that match our current training curriculum
Computer Applications Training Program – is a skill-based program that prepares individuals in the use of the basic computer business applications and enhances their opportunities when computer skills are part of the job description. The course of study is designed to meet the students learning styles while preparing them for competitive employment. Self-paced instruction allows the program to easily accommodate students of various skills and abilities. The students will learn the basics of Microsoft Office and follow an individualized learning program. Students progress at their own rate and are evaluated regularly. Results are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure the student’s vocational goals are met. Students may also participate in a practicum one day a week, where they utilize their skills at an off-site office environment. Students will receive certification for all completed courses.
The Interface Business Advisory Council supports the work of the department to empower individuals with disabilities and helps to increase opportunities in the community.
Career Options Day is an annual event sponsored by the department. It is the largest in New Jersey offering employment opportunities and career information for people with disabilities.
For more information, please call 732.321.7069
Harriet Findlay Career Development Program for Adults (CDPA)
Q. If I participate in the program will I get a job?
A. The purpose of the Career Development program is to assess your work habits, soft skills, ability to learn from supervisors & coworkers. Individuals that are in CDP have completed a vocational evaluation, and are returning to further work on the skills needed to develop a realist career plan. The program may last from 20-60 days. During that time, participants will work with their vocational counselor to develop an action plan. That plan includes at least a few work sites throughout the hospital. The assessment of your performance is done by the people you work with. The people that you work with are all professionals in their field such as Maintenance, Recreation Workers, Dietary, Patient Transporters and many more. You and your counselor schedule your work activities so that you will learn about yourself. When done, the program will make recommendations to your referral source at DVR, CBVI or VA. Those recommendations will be a guideline for the next step in your career path.
Q. What types of recommendations do you make to my counselor at DVR?
A. The most common is to proceed with the assistance of a Supported Employment Service. A Job Coach is assigned to you to help you find a job, and support you in keeping that job. In some cases, an individual would be recommended to participate in training or education to continue with achieving their goals. There are some people with many challenges that have a great deal of barriers to overcome. Your staff at JFK are experts in rehabilitation and are very familiar with the many services in our communities throughout NJ. Some people may need other restorative services before they return to or start employment. Examples of those other services might be Speech Therapy, Work Hardening, Medical Interventions or many others.
Q. Do I get paid for working at JFK?
A. Participants that are in the program past 20 days must complete an employee physical, the application packet for JFK and submit proper identifications. Once approved for payroll, most people receive minimum wage for approximately 17 hours a week. Taxes are deducted and you are paid bi-weekly. While in program, your counselor will assist with making a professional resume that reflects any past work, and your experience at JFK. These are tools for you to help in securing future jobs. Those folks that do a great job also may get a letter of recommendation from the supervisors they work with.
Q. What can I do to increase my chance of getting a job after completing the program?
A. Doing a great job in all your assignments will help to build your confidence when applying for jobs.
Q. Jobs are hard to find today. Can the program help me find a job?
A. Your counselor and the Vocational Group you participate in weekly will side you in that process. For example, you will learn how to use electronic job searches to locate the right types of work that you are capable of doing. You will also learn how to apply for jobs online, improve your interviewing skills and advocate to receive accommodations you may be afforded by the Americans w. Disabilities Act.
Q. How can I learn more?
A. People that are eligible for services may call us to make an appointment for a visit to the program.
Computer Application Training Program
Q How do I enroll?
A. Students must be referred by their DVR, VA, One Stop or DDD Support Coordinator
Q. What courses are being taught?
A. The curriculum consists of Microsoft Office 2010 including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher and Access Database. Keyboarding skills are practiced and graded. Quickbooks is also available. Most students receive an unpaid practicum experience within the JFK Health System its affiliates to obtain practical work experience in an office environment. Students may select the courses they wish or need to learn. All courses are taught by a professional and highly qualified instructor.
Q. What is the cost of the program?
A. The program is paid for entirely by the agency referring the student candidate.
Q. How long is the program?
A. Most students are referred for 50 days of training. There are variations to the length of training days which operate Monday through Thursday from 9 am – 3 pm. The program is closed only on major holidays. Students are expected to maintain a 90% attendance rate; however, absences are not counted toward the number of authorized program days.
Q. Do I get a Certificate?
A. Students are awarded a certificate of completion that lists the courses that were successfully finished. There is an annual graduation ceremony to celebrate the students.
Q. Is there assistance in looking for employment?
A. Students receive counseling throughout the training by a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor that is also the individual that assists with job readiness and job search. Upon completion of the training, alumni are invited to participate in a weekly Job Hunt Club with support in the job search.
Q. When does the course start?
A. The CAT program is an open enrollment course, with availability to start any time, after the student has been authorized for the training.
Laboratory Assistant (LA) Training Program
Q. What type of a job does a lab assistant do?
A. A Lab Asst. position will vary depending on the company they work for. You may look at our web page to see some of the more common duties. The positions are entry level and work in support of the lab technicians and technologists. An LA may be responsible for receiving, delivering or documenting incoming specimens in medical, environmental or several other types of labs. Look up lab asst. jobs on www.Indeed.com
Q. Who qualifies to receive the training?
A Referral s are accepted from DVRS, Veterans Administration, One Stop Career Centers and certain Federal programs. The program is listed on the NJ Employment & Training Provider List.
Q. How long is the training?
A. The training runs from 9-3, Monday through Friday over a 15-week period. Attendance is exceedingly important as this is a science-based occupation. It can be compared to learning a new language because one must familiarize with many new terms. Don’t worry! Our instructor is really great and reviews the material until you get it.
Q. What else is learned in the training?
A. You will have two mornings of interviews with representatives from lab companies. You will learn how to interview for jobs in your new career. The class also goes out on two trips to visit different types of labs so you can see and learn about the culture of lab work. The class ends with a 2 week-long internship where you will first observe much of what you learned, then you will try out some of the work that you learned about. Our recommendation for internship is to think of it as a 2-week interview. Most of our graduates are employed by their internship provider.
Q. Where are the internships?
A. At this time LabCorp in Raritan, Jersey shore Medical Center in Neptune and the Environmental Protection Agency in Edison. Limited internships are available at JFK for those that cannot get to the other locations.
Q. I don’t drive, can I still train in the program?
A. the important thing is that you will need to be able to get to your job once hired. For training purposes, JFK can assist you by shuttling students to the program from the Metuchen or Dunellen train stations.
Q. What qualification must I have?
A. All prospective students must have a High School Diploma or GED, an 8th grade level reading and math ability. Beyond that, an interest in science is most helpful, but as background in science is not required. All students are required to visit the class and have an intake with our rehabilitation counselor or supervisor.
Lab Assistants are entry-level workers. It is a unique way for you to learn about the medical/health field. There is a significant career ladder that one can follow to grow their career.