On September 27th, 2017 professionals who work to assist individuals with disabilities in obtaining meaningful, integrated employment in the counties of Clinton, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Tioga, and Union met at the Genetti Hotel & Suites to discuss collaboration in their region.
After lunch, agency executives were invited to participate in a Leadership Session, designed to encourage deep-level conversation and problem-solving initiatives. It did not take long for Williamsport attendees to identify a major barrier to their progress in the rural community—the population is spread thinly over a large region, and professionals struggle to engage the business community and encourage corporations to interact with the individuals they serve and their families.
After identifying a clear barrier, leadership participants began brainstorming innovative solutions to their problem, some of which include asking other rural communities for best practices, encouraging involvement in employment groups, creating one-time job shadowing opportunities for jobseekers, asking companies to participate in mentoring days, and educating human services staff on how to engage with corporate offices.
Once again, the Experience the Employment Connection team was inspired by the creativity and insight gained through a training that brings all key agency players together, around one table, to discuss effective solutions to regional barriers.