Employing people who are supported by job coaches has been a game changer for me. The impact on the atmosphere of the club, along with the fact that they do a great job has made a huge difference.

Tate Metcalf, owner of Sisters Athletic Club  

Creating Meaningful and Inclusive Workplaces

People making real contributions to their community is at the heart of our values at ALSO. People so frequently define a part of themselves by what they do for work. The people we support at ALSO identify and seek real inclusion in respect to the careers they engage in and we are here to make these visions a reality. Employment is essential to fully realizing independence, identity, and financial freedoms for adults in Oregon. Real work brings so many benefits to people with IDD including increasing self-worth, building relationships, and access to community resources. 

At ALSO we know:

  • Everyone can work, and there is a job for everyone 
  • Our job is to be creative and tenacious in providing support and employment opportunities 
  • Unemployment should be the exception 
  • Everyone has an obligation to raise awareness and create opportunity 
  • People will be hired because of their ability, not because they have a disability 
  • Communities embrace people who work and do their part 
  • Everyone has something to contribute and needs to contribute 
  • People are healthier, safer, and happiest with meaningful work 
  • Employment is a win/win for everybody 
  • Employment creates opportunities for greater diversity in the workplace. 

Meet Cody

In 2018, Cody Sullivan made history as the first person in Oregon with Down syndrome to complete four years of college. Today, Cody works as a part-time educational assistant (EA) for Portland Public Schools. He is again making history by joining the thousands of teachers that transitioned to virtual teaching during COVID. Thank you to Cody and ALSO’s Employment Director Chaz Volavka for modeling inclusive employment in 2020.   

How It Works For Employers  

ALSO’s specialized Employment Services are designed to fulfill the employer’s needs while providing meaningful employment and job development for the people we support. Our individualized employment approach for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities offers a partnership with the people we support, your business, and the ALSO team. Through this partnership and our community-based approach, you will gain responsible, productive employees. 

Our supported employment services include:

  • Delivering a person-centered approach for each person, honoring human rights and individual choice. 
  • Matching your company with qualified applicants with the skills and personality to fit your business needs and culture. 
  • Tailoring part-time positions of 10 to 20 hours a week. 
  • Vocational training and ongoing support are provided at no cost to your company until your employee is up and going independently. 

Five Myths and the Real Facts for Employers

How It Works For Job Seekers

ALSO is a service provider that helps people with disabilities make informed decisions about work, benefits, and the use of work incentives to achieve their employment goals through our supported employment program. We have job coaches and employment specialists to assist with all parts of the employment process. Many people with disabilities believe that they will lose all of their federal and state benefits or their medical insurance if they go to work, but this is seldom true. 

Our individualized support services work with job seekers to develop a career development plan that assesses skills and goals while working closely with business partners to create jobs that fulfill their specific needs. 

Let’s Work Together

Portland Metro | Chaz Volavka | cvolavka@alsoweb.org | 503-489-6588

Central Oregon | Spencer Brown | centraloregon@alsoweb.org | 541-410-0317

Schedule a tour today and let us showcase ALSO’s disability services, vision, the people we support, and our staff. To schedule a tour, visit our events page or contact Sarah Cinquini. sarah.cinquini@alsoweb.org | 503-753-1239. We’re all in this together.

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