Did you know you can begin a career with leading manufacturers or work in a hospital? Did you know you are not destined for a life of minimum wage employment? Do you have ambition? Do you have the desire to achieve your goals and create a better life for yourself and your family?
NW Works’ programs and services are designed to meet the diverse needs of individuals who are 17 years of age or older and have long-term disabilities, including intellectual disabilities, mental health issues, physical challenges, traumatic brain injury, and hearing and vision impairments. We also work with those receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), veterans with disabilities, and those with other barriers to employment. NW Works, Inc. is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that serves these underserved populations in Winchester, Frederick County, Clarke County, and other neighboring counties. Our mission at NW Works is to enable adults with disabilities and individuals with significant barriers to employment to gain training and secure and sustain meaningful employment.
How We Help
The NW Works Workforce Development program offers opportunities for individuals to excel in life through meaningful employment. We provide employment and case management support to individuals who have little to no income or other barriers to employment. NW Works recognizes that competitive employment can come with many hurdles. Our Workforce Developers and case management staff are trained to help clients overcome these barriers by creating a person-centered case management and employment plan. Plans include, but are not limited to, travel training, job development/resume building, and employment coaching opportunities. By addressing these barriers through a therapeutic employment model, competitive employment becomes a reality for many. Hours for this program are flexible to meet the needs of the individual.
Individualized Supported Employment
Individuals in this program are supported in selecting, securing, and sustaining employment within the community, and they are trained and assisted by Employment Service Coordinators until they achieve their career goals. In collaboration with the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), the individual and their Employment Service Coordinator work with a Vocational Counselor to identify the amount of assistance needed to learn job tasks and meet their employer’s expectations. Hours for this program are flexible to meet the needs of the individual and the employer.
Once an individual and their support team (which includes the employer, employment service coordinator, case managers, parents, and advocates) determine that an individual can complete the essential functions of their job tasks, long-term follow-along support may be provided to ensure ongoing success.
Day Support Services
NW Works provides support for individuals with disabilities to reach their employment goals. But, we also recognize the importance of simply being active in life and in the community. To this end, the NW Works Day Support Services meets community and individual needs beyond employment for those with an intellectual or developmental disability. Through this program, individuals can choose activities, such as improving life skills, attending community outings, or engaging in other recreational or leisure activities. Individuals enrolled in this program typically have a Medicaid Waiver, however, private pay options are available. Operating hours for this program are Monday through Friday, 8:15 am – 3:15 pm.
Group Supported Employment
NW Works operates several government contract sites in the broader Washington, DC, metropolitan area. These government sites provide employment opportunities in the areas of environmental services, landscaping, and more. Operating hours for these positions depend on the contract sites and the hours requested by the employer.
Additionally, NW Works contracts with industry leaders and enables clients to work directly onsite to meet the needs of local employers. With partners such as Riviana Pasta, Berryville Graphics, and Melnor, NW Works staffs a workforce to benefit the needs of the business community while offering meaningful work opportunities for each employed individual.
Within the NW Works headquarters, there are several work opportunities available to individuals. Internal career opportunities include contracts with Rubbermaid, Fortessa Glassware, HP Hood, and many others. Depending on the contract, individuals may be paid based on productivity, minimum wage, or higher. Operating hours for this opportunity are Monday through Friday, 8:15 am – 3:15 pm.
Community Engagement and Coaching
Individuals are encouraged through this program to engage in meaningful activities in the local community. Depending on the needs and desire of each individual, this program may include travel training, establishing a bank account, volunteering at a local community partner, or even attending a local sporting event or entertainment activity in the broader Washington, DC, metropolitan area. Individuals are encouraged to express their own ideas and desires for community engagement, and then the NW Works staff members arrange the opportunities. Operating hours for this program are typically Monday through Friday, 8:15 am – 3:15 pm. Activities that fall outside of these operating hours are discussed on a case by case basis.
NW Works Partners with Project Search
This globally recognized program, which originated in Cincinnati, OH, at a local Children’s Hospital, was initially designed to provide a solution to turn-over issues in the emergency room department. As the program began to develop, the focus shifted to creating training opportunities for high school students with disabilities as they prepare to graduate. This highly successful program expanded from Ohio to several other states in the US and to other countries as well and is now available in Winchester, VA.
The Project Search effort in Winchester is a collaborative group working with the Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services, NW Works, local community services boards, Frederick County Public Schools, Winchester City Public Schools, and Valley Health Winchester Medical Center. Through this collaboration, students in their final year of school are eligible to participate in three different internships, each lasting nine weeks. Graduates of the Project Search program gain important job skills and often attain employment prior to or immediately following completion of the program.
WE'VE BEEN UP TO GOOD
Empowerment through Employment.
You Can Hire. Refer. Volunteer. Donate.