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Virtual PRE-ETS classes are designed to assist students to identify career interests, develop job seeking skills, and complete applications

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The Choice Group is working together with DARS to identify high school seniors from Fauquier County and Culpeper County to begin two PATHWAYS classes. These virtual PRE-ETS classes are designed to assist students to identify career interests, develop job seeking skills, and complete applications. The students will graduate with an individualized portfolio highlighting their career interests and skills that can be used as roadmaps as they continue on their chosen career paths.  
In collaboration with The Choice Group, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors in the Culpeper DARS office are providing an innovative method of supports for students in Fauquier County Schools. Working with transition staff at the schools, The Choice Group is preparing students with job readiness skills as they assist students with interest inventory assessments and virtual classroom discussions. The Choice Group will utilize the information learned from these virtual classrooms for further assessments as the pan…

Developing employment leads for our clients by calling existing business contacts

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In Virginia’s North Western Region, The Choice Group continues to support high school seniors through the COVID-19 Pandemic. One Vocational Counselor was able to develop employment leads for his client by calling existing business contacts and subsequently completing job applications with the client over the phone. 
The Vocational Counselor then assisted the client during the in-person interview at a local grocer, where the client was hired as a Quality Assurance Associate. With a strong performance record, and support from the Vocational Counselor, this motivated student turned employee has been promoted to cashier and is making a difference in his community as an essential employee working nearly 25 hours per week.

Client relocates to Richmond in search of her dream job of working with residents in a geriatric community

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After spending years working in a Northern Virginia grocery store, our client relocated to Richmond in search of her dream job of working with residents in a geriatric community. She was supported by DARS, who helped her with job development, to locate her dream job. As a graduate of George Mason’s “Mason Life Program,” she shared her dream with her Vocational Counselor, Dana O’Connell. O'Connell utilized her contacts to find her client a position at a local Assisted Living facility. 
Originally hired and trained to work in the residents’ dining room, the client’s responsibilities abruptly changed as COVID-19 swept the nation and altered her work duties. The Choice Group’s Vocational Counselor immediately made adjustments to the client’s job site to help her reorient to new aspects of her position. Creating visual checklists, she developed compensatory strategies for the client to adapt to her new position of delivering meals to residents in their rooms. In addition to teaching thi…

Cornell University Article Features Work Incentive Specialist

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Congratulations to Milton for being interviewed in Cornell's latest article about work benefits. Read his section of the article here, link to the full story included.
"For a person who wants to rely less on disability-related benefits from the government and more on their own income, it can be challenging to best use the available benefits and work incentives." 
Fortunately, The Choice Group's Milton Johnson (profiled by Cornell) can offer the guidance to help clients navigate these programs and find individualized solutions."
For a person who wants to rely less on disability-related benefits from the government and more on their own income, it can be challenging to best use the available benefits and work incentives. Milton Johnson, a former student in the unique Work Incentive Practitioner Credential program at the Yang-Tan Institute (YTI) and an employee at The Choice Group, knows about this both personally and professionally. Prior to joining The Choice Group i…

Covid-19 Announcement

A message from the CEO:

The impact of COVID-19 has been far-reaching and historic. As the virus continues to threaten the world, we remain hopeful, yet we do not know when an end to this pandemic will be in sight. We are indeed in uncharted waters.
The Choice Group remains focused on our mission and on the health and well-being of all those we serve. We are taking every precaution as we continue to provide essential services in the community. The Choice Group is committed to providing services while providing resources, education and training to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the many communities around the Commonwealth that we proudly serve.
The Choice Group is continually staying up to date with local, state and federal authorities and complying with all mandates and directives. Our dedicated staff is working virtually with clients as much as possible. The leadership team at The Choice Group is meeting each day to respond to this rapidly evolving and challenging time.

Rebecca's Enthusiasm!

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“I love it here. I am able to go to work, eat dinner, and start working. And then I go home to my own apartment and care for my cats.” Two years ago, Rebecca was living in a group home in New Jersey and was working at a local retail store. Although she loved living there, she wanted to be closer to her family and have a cat. 
When she moved back to Virginia and into her parents’ home, she wanted to find a job to start earning and saving money. That’s when she met Kate and the pair began searching for a job. At the same time that she was working with Kate, Rebecca was also working with her Case Manager to help find an apartment in Charlottesville. Together, Rebecca and her Vocational Counselor applied and interviewed for over 9 different jobs. And when Rebecca attended a job fair in Charlottesville with a food service company, she was offered a job. 
At the same time she interviewed to work at the dining hall, she moved into her own apartment. Rebecca has worked at Runk Dining Hall at…

Cameron's Heavy Lifting

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Cameron and his counselor, Nancy, set out to find him employment with a goal of working in a hardware store. In May of 2016, he became employed at the Lowe's in Suffolk through the Supported Employment program. 

Cameron is hardworking, reliable, loves manual labor, and cares about other people.

The challenge came because of his specificity about working in a hardware store. There are a very limited number of hardware stores or stores in general in his area of Hampton Roads. His mom drives him to work so he and Nancy had to look in Suffolk, Franklin and Windsor for positions. These are relatively rural areas with limited numbers of stores, especially hardware stores.

However, he found a job! Cameron is a Loader but often helps the team in other departments by collecting carts, helping customers load their cars, stocking, restocking, filling the water tank for employees, assisting customers, helping with any heavy lifting, and helping the team solve problems.

To help him stay on task, N…