No two people are alike, and people with disabilities are no exception. So the first rule of Supported Employment is getting to know each job seeker before a job match is sought. This entails far more than a mere assessment of interests, and includes includes assessing strengths, areas that need improvement, and accommodations that may be necessary. Bridges to Employment utilizes these methods, and has partnerships with employers and post-secondary schools to facilitate placements. Supports extend beyond assessments, job-sampling, skill training, development of soft-skills (how to interact with co-workers, how to dress and behave oneself), transportation and facilitating workplace entry: follow-along and even long-term job coaching can be provided.
The age of job-seekers is a primary consideration: many people, both those who have disabilities and those who don’t, enter the workforce unprepared for what will be expected of them. Bridges to Employment’s skill training includes such tasks as researching employment opportunities and filling out applications, as well as the skills that will be needed to perform the selected job’s tasks. Equally important to each individual’s preparation is soft-skill training, such as how to dress and conduct oneself during an interview or how to appropriately interact with customers and coworkers. Transition Services, which Bridges to Employment provides to students as young as age 16, can also be incorporated for older clients who require both skill and soft-skill training.
Because Bridges to Employment has been a successful Supported Employment provider in the community for 21 years, providing services in six counties, it has resources and relationships with businesses that facilitate placements, as well as a trained, professional staff with a proven record of assisting people to prepare for, find, and keep their jobs.
Each community-based job placement is its own success story, and a reminder that everyone’s life experiences have a ripple effect: people who are meaningfully employed are happier and healthier, their caregivers and peers are happier, they build relationships and become a part of their workplace culture and the larger community, and the economy is boosted because, like every employed person, their earnings are put back into local businesses.
New Jersey is an Employment First state, and was the 14th state to declare itself Employment First. Employment First is a national movement centered on the premise that all citizens, including individuals with significant disabilities, are capable of full participation in integrated employment and community life.
Must be DVRS and/or DDD approved.
For additional information, please see below.
*Private/Self Pay is optional
It’s important to understand the context in which Supported Employment services exist: Out of more than 20 million working-age people with disabilities in the United States, 7.5 million have jobs, which represents a significant gap between people with disabilities and non-disabled Americans, with 37% of U.S. residents with disabilities ages 18-64 employed versus 77.2% for people without disabilities. According to the Census Bureau, more than 56 million Americans have a disability, which can include diagnoses as varied as spinal cord injuries, visual impairments or hearing loss and so-called “invisible disabilities” such as learning disabilities, mental illness or Autism Spectrum Disorder. Improved diagnostics have meant a higher proportion of the population is identified as having a disability, and with this increase in diagnoses has come complementary methods of educating, training and employing people.
Finding suitable jobs for people with disabilities can be challenging, depending on the disability and prospective employers’ willingness to accommodate different needs. The 37% employment rate for people with disabilities in the United States is poor, but represents a steady improvement in recent years, in part because of better preparation to enter the workforce and growing acceptance by employers of employees with disabilities. This growth in employment rates for those with disabilities is a national trend, but varies greatly from state to state, depending on activism by the state and state-run agencies, human service agencies and grassroots-level activism: the highest is in North Dakota, where the employment rate is 56%, the lowest is in West Virginia at 26%. New Jersey falls right at the median of 37%.
The statistics can be broken down in other meaningful ways, but along with the overall improvement in the numbers of employed people with disabilities comes the reminder that most people with disabilities who are employed, are employed part-time.
It’s also important to remember that not everyone with a disability wants to work, and that choice also must be respected. However, it’s essential for people with disabilities to be exposed to employment options, as this can spark interests in areas not otherwise identified.
The purpose of Supported Employment is to provide employment opportunities in the labor market for individuals with disabilities. The key principle of a client-driven approach to Supported Employment is the premise that the job seeker is in control of the process.
At Bridges to Employment, we provide comprehensive career services to meet a variety of today's workforce needs. Our services range from vocational assessment and career exploration to job placement and on-the-job training. Bridges to Employment also provides an array of additional services customized for students, entry level job seekers as well as those seeking a career change.
Whether you are an employer seeking to add qualified candidates to your workforce, or a job seeker looking for some assistance in finding just the right job match for you, you have come to the right place. Explore our website and see if Bridges to Employment is the right fit for your employment needs!
Our goal to help our Clients find successful employment while fulfilling the employers' staffing needs. When there is a barrier that may affect a person's performance, our Employment Specialists are there to provide discreet interventions. We aim to 'bridge the gap' to successful employment.
We have a multi-lingual team that specialize in English, Spanish and ASL.
Services provided in Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon, Monmouth, Ocean, Warren, and Union County! See below for more details
Through our Supported Employment Program, Bridges to Employment has been providing job placement and training to people who may be experiencing barriers to employment in Central New Jersey for more than 15 years.
Our Employment Specialists take the time to get to know their Clients and become familiar with their career goals, work history, skills, education and training, and are in tune to any challenges that may affect employment.
The Supported Employment Program offers the following services:
*Counties served include Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset.
Alternatives has offered supported employment services since 1998, since 2008 under Bridges to Employment (BTE), a division of Alternatives, Inc. BTE has hundreds of success stories, providing comprehensive career services to meet a variety of today's workforce needs. Services range from vocational assessment and career exploration to job placement and on-the-job training for those with barriers to employment. BTE serves entry-level job seekers, as well as those seeking a career change.
But what is Supported Employment, and why is it necessary? Who can benefit from such services? And what does a successful employment story look like for someone with a disability?
" Working closely with the Deaf population has always been my passion! Please feel free to contact me via my cell or email. I look forward to speaking to you soon! "
Run by the manager Audra Zammit, our Career Development Center (CDC), Bridges to Employment provides Job Readiness Services for people with hearing loss in Central Jersey.*
The Career Development Center, in conjunction with the Bridges to Employment Supported Employment Services*, offers the following services:
Job Search Assistance
Assistive Technology Services are offered by appointment only
*Counties served include Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Somerset, Ocean and Union.
Assistant Director: Stephen Torres
600 First Avenue
Raritan, NJ 08869
Program Manager: Audra Zammit
Shoppes at Colonial Village
3 Route 27, Suite 102
Edison, NJ 08820
600 First Avenue
Raritan, NJ 08869
" Working at Bridges to Employment has been an amazing experience. I truly enjoy working with our clients and students through out the state. It has been a privilege to work with such dedicated and passionate people. "