Breaking down What we do and How we do it

Our goal is to assist people who experience developmental, intellectual and/or learning disabilities find and keep jobs, in the Eugene/Springfield business community. We also educate businesses and the public at large as to what these amazing individuals can achieve. So let me give you a rundown of how we go about accomplishing all of this.

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Our clients are referred to us by a state or county agency, or even a brokerage, depending on the services that are needed.

DISCOVERY  – The Office of Developmental Disabilities, under the Department of Human Services, may refer a person to us to initiate Discovery. The discovery process is a 60 day (or a maximum of three months) exploration into  ‘Who the individual is’. It gives insight into our client’s strengths, skills, interests and abilities in regards to employment. We gather this information by visiting the person’s home environment and favorite hang-outs and interviewing family, care providers, and teachers –  just about anyone who can help us draw a bigger picture of the personality of the discovery participant. We may also visit places that the client frequents or sites that the person has some interest in learning more about and have him or her demonstrate their abilities in order to give some additional insight and guidance during the next part of the job search process. After gathering all of this information, a report is written up that will be used to inform and assist the person’s job developer when the time comes to enter into the Job Search.

For a more in-depth explanation about the Discovery Process follow this link:


JOB SEARCH – Our clients are referred to us by The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. Clients may interview various agencies to determine who they feel will best serve their needs with the aid of a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) counselor.

For more information about The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation use the link below:

Pearl Buck Center’s Community Employment Services accepts referrals of individuals who are deemed ready for community-based employment. This means the individual has a desire to be a part of the working community and has shown the skills and behaviors required for a workplace setting, such as; appropriate dress and hygiene, work appropriate language and social skills, willingness to learn, as well as the ability to follow directions and be on time. We are committed to the individual’s employment success by working with his or her’s team, planning of how he/she will get to and from work, being on time, and having the support necessary to attain and maintain long term employment.

We then conduct our own mini-discovery process by sitting down with the client and finding out about their interests, prior work, work study, and/or volunteer experiences as well as discussing what type of work he/she is looking for.

The VR counselor may have us create a Portfolio to prepare and aid the job seeker in his or her job search. This part of the process will take about 30 days. For this portfolio, we will create a Resume, Cover Letter, Master application, and, when helpful, a Blog entry and display piece that can be shown when we approach employers or show businesses touring our facility. We also practice interview skills, handing in resumes and applications and discuss what to wear –  skills we will continue practicing throughout the Job Search process.

Once all of these materials are created, they are presented – along with a Job Strategy Report outlining the plan we will use to carry out the job search –  to the VR counselor, client and his/her team for approval and input.

With the Discovery report, Portfolio, and the Job Strategy plan completed we are now ready to get down to the business of looking for work!

The Job Developers go out speaking with businesses about potential positions. We also scour online job sites or even scout out leads given to us by friends and family of the job seeker – in search of the right fit. And contrary to the popular belief that we have businesses “in our back pocket” ready and waiting to hand out jobs, we must constantly find and speak to new employers – learning what they do, sharing what we do, and exploring what a business can do if they are willing to rethink how they currently do things and hire through us.

We like to have our clients as involved in their job search as possible and aim at taking them out to visit businesses at least once every other week, if not more. We may assist the client in conducting Informational interviews with employers to determine what is done within the business, what types of jobs they hire for, and the skills needed to perform the job. We may ask our job seekers to approach employers to inquire if they are hiring, in order to see how we can improve upon the job seekers method of interactions. We may also assist the client in filling out online or paper applications with the aid of the master application.

We will accompany the client to interviews and, when permitted, sit in on the interviews, giving input when necessary or appropriate. We will also train and assist the client in proper etiquette for before, during, and after the interview.

It is often hard to say how long this process will take. Everyone is different, with different abilities, needs, and desires. Our goal is to find a job that best suits each client’s abilities and interests, not just place them in a job for the sake of a placement. We realize that in order for a person to be successful s/he will need to work in a job that will build upon what foundation has already been laid, yet allow the person to continue to grow.

We have been successful in placing individuals in positions that not only stretch their own perception of who they think they are but also gives them more skills and experience to continue to build upon. So with this said, the job search may take less than a month or more than 3 months. During the job search, the job developer will make monthly reports that are given to the VR counselor relaying the progress or barriers of the job search process.

Once a job is found and the client has worked three days and is satisfied, we contact the VR counselor and ask for training hours. These training hours will span a 3 month (90 day) period with the idea of gradually fading our presence, giving the newly employed client the chance to learn his/her tasks as well as gaining some built in supports and work related independence. The job developer will also determine what types of augmentations are needed and implement them. At the 90 day period it will be determined whether the client is successful and if so their file with VR will be closed. If the client has ongoing supports, their brokerage or DHS will take over the Job Coaching.

JOB COACHING – At this point in the game the brokerage or county will hire an agency to provide a job coach to support the employed client with their job. The job developer will hand the reigns over to the job coach; introducing him/her to the client, employer, and co-workers, as well as train the coach. The job coach will then support the client in performing the job, gradually fading this support when appropriate, and check in with the employer to make sure that they are satisfied and determine whether there are more tasks that the client can take on or if the job can be expanded. The job coach will make monthly reports depicting the progress, concerns, achievements or roadblocks the client is making. These reports are given to the brokerage or county for review.

There you have it, what we do and how we do it. We hope it helps give you a better idea of the process that we follow and the time and effort that we at Pearl Buck Center invest when assisting a person find work in his or her community.

If you would like to know more or have questions, please feel free in contacting us at: 541.484.4666

or email us at: