VCU-RRTC Business Roundtable e-Newsletter - January 2006

Roundtable Member News

Mark Your Calendars!
Our annual VCU Business Roundtable meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 4, 2006 at the Marriott in Richmond, Virginia. VCU-RRTC will host this meeting in conjunction with a regional employment conference. The Roundtable meeting will take place from 2p.m. to 5p.m. followed by a business reception. This meeting will give our members an opportunity to hear from national leaders in the field of employment for people with disabilities. Also, we may be asking several members of the Roundtable to join Dr. Wehman in a panel discussion regarding business needs and how rehabilitation agencies can add value to business. Please be on the look out for additional information on this event.

Welcome to a New Member!
Mark Feinour with Bank of America Card Services, formerly MBNA, will be joining Mike Shriver as a member of the Business Roundtable. He is taking a lead role in the Division of Support Services. Welcome Mark!

Best Practices & Business Resources

CWP with support from VERIZON has developed an online web tool for employers interested in navigating the public workforce system. Employers
across the nation and within all industries share a common understanding – a qualified and well-trained workforce is one of the most critical factors to sustained growth and competitiveness. Whether you need help in hiring new employees or training and educating your existing staff, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Workforce Preparation’s new Online Navigator can help you connect to available low or no cost resources!

Check out the The ADA & IT Information Center for the Mid-Atlantic Region web site for some great resources to keep you up to date on disability-related resources, news, and other items of interest. There is section for business that covers FAQ's and provides business related resources and information. The site also provides a listing of current and upcoming
training events including workshops, conferences and web-based training courses.

RRTC Project Updates

Project 1: Partnership Employment Project (PEP)
This quarter we have been working to recruit participants into the project. Currently there are 54 participants across the five sites. A significant amount of our time has been dedicated to providing technical assistance in the area of building authentic public -private partnership with trusting and open communication. Also, this quarter we added the New York site where we are working with YIA National Institute for People with Disabilities and 7 Manpower offices in the New York City area. This site will begin to make referrals to the project in February. Also in February we will be meeting with partners in Minneapolis, Minnesota to initiate the involvement of the finial site for the project.

Project 2: Business Mentor Program
Through collaboration with the VA Business Leadership Network, 20 mentors have been recruited for participation in VCU Mentoring Matters. Examples of mentor businesses include Anthem, VA Museum of Fine Arts, Hanover High School, VA Department of Environmental Quality, and the Henrico Juvenile Probation Office.
Fifteen students were recruited and are actively participating in the program. Most of these students have been matched to a mentor and have or are in the process of conducting their first meeting. An online organization management system has been developed to enhance communication and disseminate information to the participants. Recruitment of students will continue.

Project 3: Disability Management Practices & Successful Job Retention
Site visits for the second targeted organization, University of California San Francisco (UCSF), were conducted in October and November 2005. The first of these visits yielded a total of 14 interviews with general management, HR, operations, and key program leaders, utilizing the newly modified instruments. The second visit was devoted to 11 interviews targeting five employees with disabilities, their supervisors, and a key support person. Reports from all completed site visits at both CCHMC and UCSF are being prepared for qualitative analysis using NVivo. Both organizations will be revisited approximately one year from the initial site visits for follow-up interviews with case study level participants. In addition, initial site visits are currently being set up for the next two targeted organizations of study, Dow Chemical in Midland, Michigan and General Electric.