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Iowa Paths is a federally-funded systems-change project working to expand
employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. This project
is a cooperative effort between the Iowa Division of Vocational Rehabilitation,
and Departments of Education, Human Services, Workforce Development and
Iowa Paths is based on the theory that where local effective teamwork
develops, agency partners will have not only a better knowledge of services,
but will also develop and strengthen professional relationships with their
counterparts in other agencies to more effectively confront systems barriers.
The overall goals of the project are:
- To identify and reduce organizational barriers to competitive employment for targeted individuals with disabilities on public support through state-level interagency collaboration.
- To identify and improve practices and processes for referring individuals
with disabilities to various services in order to improve service delivery,
tracking of client referrals, and employment outcomes.
- To engage employers in providing employment opportunities to individuals through market-driven job development.
Reason for Involvement in this Project
Iowa Paths is working to identify barriers and to implement changes that
will improve employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. In
the early stages of this project, consumer focus groups were held throughout
the state to identify such barriers. One key barrier identified by consumers
relates to the issue of self-confidence and lack of a support system.
We believe one strategy that could help to address this barrier is the
creation of a statewide mentoring program. Through this program consumers
with disabilities could draw helpful insights from professionals about
job seeking, networking, and job-keeping skills.
Role in Connecting to Success
The Iowa Paths Systems Change Project, in collaboration with the Division
of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, School-to-Work, Iowa Workforce
Development, and Area Education Agencies, has acted as a facilitator to
identify local communities willing to develop and test a model for e-mentoring
in Iowa. At this point two local communities are receiving support to
develop policies, procedures, and support/learning material. Iowa Paths
will also assist in the development of a method of evaluation.
Barb McClannahan, Project Manager
510 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
Local Community Coordinators
Andrea Grupe, Project Manager
Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency
729 21st Street
Bettendorf, Iowa 52722-5096
Debbie Stevens, Coordinator
124 North Market Street
Oskaloosa, Iowa 52577
Bettendorf Chamber of Commerce
2117 State Street
Bettendorf, Iowa 52722
The National Center on Secondary Education
Iowa Paths Systems Change Project
The Minnesota Department of Education
U. S. Department of Labor
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This page was last updated on
October 2, 2007.