Employees flank the Firehouse Ceramics sign.

Vocational Services

Service Locations

North East Region: Greater Green Bay and Surrounding Communities
Fox Valley Region: Appleton and Surrounding Communities
Central Region: Central and North Central Wisconsin Communities
North West Region: Eau Claire, Hayward, Superior, St. Croix Falls, Siren and Surrounding Communities

Description of Services

Innovative Services strives to provide tailored, individualized vocational and daily living programming for adults with disabilities and mental health diagnoses. Rather than looking at it being one specific “service,” it should be viewed as a very unique process or plan for each person. Programming offered must benefit each person served and focus on individualized goals. How one reaches his or her goals is a path each person must be a part of navigating. It is the mission of Innovative Services vocational department to assist with this course in a way that emphasizes and promotes consumer involvement and choice.

Innovative Services vocational programs remain true to the company motto, “In Every Person … A Possibility”. Focusing on individualized supports, Innovative Services works to maximize each person’s abilities and match those abilities, along with the interests and desires of the person, to employment and other service opportunities that are meaningful and relevant.

Specific services offered (but not limited to) are described below. Innovative Services promotes partnerships and thinking outside the box; therefore, if a specific individual need/service is not listed below, the option to explore creative programming still exists.

Adult Day Living Services

Adult Day Living Services (services may involve evening hours) include regularly scheduled activities to enhance social development and develop skills in performing activities of daily living and community living. Program goals include development of and enhancing a person’s skills for social interaction, communication and community integration.

Adult Day Services must provide a training component above the level of supervision. Adult Day Service skills training includes, but are not limited to:

  • Independent Living
  • Mobility
  • Social, Emotional and Personal Development
  • Communication
  • Community Access and Integration

Center-Based Prevocational Services

Center-based prevocational services involve work experiences where a person can develop general, non-job task-specific strengths and skills. Learning and enhancing skills related to attendance, task completion, problem solving, interpersonal relations and safety are goals for shelter-based prevocational services. Innovative Services examples of Center-Based Prevocational Services tasks performed include, but are not limited to:

  • Production and assembly work
  • Food preparation
  • Agricultural/gardening work (indoors and outdoors)
  • Administrative assistant/clerical duties
  • Disposal of confidential documents
  • Creation of ceramic art
  • Operation of a Storefront/Retail

Community-Based Prevocational Services

Community-based prevocational services offer skill-building opportunities. Examples of activities often completed in Community-Based Prevocational Services include:

  • Volunteering as a means to explore interest areas, build a resume and become comfortable working alongside people without disabilities
  • Tours at job sites of interest
  • Informational interviewing at local businesses
  • Job shadowing at jobs in the local community
  • Attending classroom-based activities that may be held in appropriate community venues (technical college, library or business centers)
  • Attending job fairs

Both Center-Based and Community-Based Prevocational Services are intended to develop and teach general skills. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Ability to communicate effectively with supervisors, co-workers and customers
  • Generally accepted community workplace conduct and dress
  • Ability to follow directions
  • Ability to attend to tasks
  • Workplace problem-solving skills and strategies
  • General workplace safety and mobility training

Work Crew & Enclave Services

Work crew and enclave services are group training and task-specific skill building opportunities provided in regular businesses, industries and community settings. Examples of Work Crew/Enclave Services include, but are not limited to:

  • Lawn and snow maintenance
  • Parks crew work
  • Moving assistance
  • Business cleaning service

Supported Employment Services

Supported employment services are provided to people who need ongoing support to obtain and maintain a job in community, integrated employment or self-employment. Supported Employment includes both Job Development and Job Coaching Services.

Job Development refers to services to develop competitive, integrated job offers through direct employer contacts for people who need assistance in their job search. Activities of job development include but are not limited to:

  • Assistance completing applications
  • Developing a written or visual resume
  • Practicing interview skills
  • Conducting a job search with employer contacts specific to each individual
  • Presenting the individual’s visual resume and negotiating of customized positions with employers

Job Coaching is support to people who need ongoing support to maintain at least minimum wage employment in an integrated community setting. Job Coaching includes:

  • Assisting a person to learn and perform job duties in ways that meet employer’s expectations
  • Assisting a person to learn and follow workplace policies and procedures and to abide by all expectations of employees established by the employer
  • Engaging natural supports in appropriate training, support and supervision roles
  • Coordinating work-related services (such as transportation, personal care assistance, etc.)
  • Assisting individual/employer on use of assistive technology and other disability-related accommodations/resources Assistance with benefits issues related to earned income

Job Planning, Development & Placement Services

Job planning, development and placement services provide a comprehensive set of services to assist people in their efforts to plan for, seek, obtain and maintain employment. These services are provided in a collaborative effort with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). Job Placement includes:

  • Employment Readiness Assessment
  • Job Prep/Job Development Plan
  • Temporary work experiences
  • Placement
  • Hire
  • Job Retention/Ongoing mentoring

Vocational Evaluations & Assessments

Vocational evaluations and assessments provide comprehensive testing and assessments to assist in determining a person’s vocational skills, abilities and potential barriers. Evaluations and assessments may include the following:

  • Paper/pencil achievement testing
  • Aptitude and interest testing
  • Computer/online testing
  • Work samples (either real or simulated to assess specific work tasks)

Other services and programming may be developed as individuals express need.

Customized Self-Employment

Customized self-employment services meet the needs of a person looking to operate his or her own business. This service may involve business planning development to a more supported self-employment situation with ongoing job coaching and business operations assistance. The goal of customized self-employment is to focus on the skills, abilities, talents and interests of the person and create a sustainable microenterprise.

Project Search

Project Search is a high school transition program that provides a business-led, one-year work internship for eligible students. These strategically designed internships facilitate a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration and relevant job-skills training. ISI partners with school districts, vocational and long-term funders, as well as a host business site, to facilitate Project Search programming. Upon completion of the internship, the goal for students is competitive, integrated employment within the host business site or other related businesses.