U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Planning Development OneCPD Mailing List
Developing Viable Communities through Housing, Services, & Economic Opportunities

OHH Monthly Focus on Employment: A Partnership Approach - Connecting with Mainstream Workforce Services 

This monthly focus on employment, provided by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of HIV/AIDS Housing (OHH), describes how HIV/AIDS providers can take on a partnership approach to employment services and how they can successfully engage clients with mainstream workforce systems.

Utilizing Collaborations to Improve Outcomes

Developing, growing, and maintaining relationships can be a challenging and valuable investment for HIV/AIDS service providers. HIV/AIDS providers can take on a partnership approach to employment services to help clients access the job training or other vocational services they need to pursue meaningful employment. Building collaborations with mainstream workforce services expands agency capacity to connect clients with employment services and opportunities. To successfully engage clients with mainstream workforce systems, service providers must learn to navigate systems that may be unfamiliar and gain access to key individuals within that system.

Strategies for Effective Interagency Collaborations and Partnerships

LEARN about the mainstream workforce system.

  • Become familiar with the mainstream workforce system, eligibility criteria, service participation requirements, and expected outcomes.
  • Ensure that staff members have a solid understanding of available resources to match clients with services and make appropriate referrals.

ADVOCATE and EDUCATE around employability for PLWHA.

  • Assume an advocacy and educational role when creating partnerships to effectively promote clients’ needs and employability.
  • Articulate the unique needs of PLWHA as well as the services available to PLWHA.
  • Describe how advances in treatment have increased the employability and earning potential of PLWHA.
  • Address concerns providers may have about engaging PLWHA in employment services.

BUILD relationships to expand services and improve outcomes.

  • Build relationships with employment services providers and community organizations.
  • Coordinate with community colleges, employment, training, and asset development programs.
  • Seek public and private funding opportunities to expand employment services for PLWHA and improve employment outcomes.

Workforce System Highlight: Vocational Rehabilitation Programs

  • Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is the primary system of services and resources that specifically addresses the employment needs of individuals with disabilities.
  • VR eligibility is based on having a physical or mental impairment that causes a substantial impediment to employment. All individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are eligible for VR services.
  • VR Services include:
    • Career counseling and guidance
    • Assessment to help identify skills, abilities, interests, and limitations
    • Funding for medical, psychological, or other individualized services necessary to achieve employment goal
    • Job search assistance
  • Department of Education’s Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Listing

Learn more now:

Getting to Work Webinar: Navigating Workforce Systems

Getting to Work Webinar: Living and Working with HIV

HIV/AIDS Service Providers with Employment/Training Services

Ticket to Work Directory of Services by State

Employment Network (EN) Profiles

And, stay tuned!

The next email in the series is: Understanding Benefits: Broadening Options for PLWHA.

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