Agency Change Toolkit

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Think Work

Element 10 - Get Started

Identify your staff and board members’ professional relationships.

Think in the broadest terms about potential partners for furthering your employment agenda. This might include state agencies, elected officials, local school systems, colleges and universities, employers both large and small, social service agencies such as senior centers, other providers in the state and nationally, and disability-specific employment systems such as VR.

Describe your transformation effort to pre-existing partners, and expect occasional resistance.

Explaining your new business model means engaging partners in the idea of integrated employment, and even re-defining your relationship. This includes relationships with businesses that used to provide contract work in the workshop, and with schools that would refer students to the sheltered settings.

Use your staff and board members’ relationships to continually expand your network of partners.

The more diverse the professional contacts, the better. You can even establish a Community Resource Coordinator position, whose responsibility it is to create these partnerships.

Use whatever resources each partner can bring to the transformation effort.

Think as creatively and broadly as possible. You can take advantage of partnerships for exploration and Discovery opportunities, accessing support services that build job seeker human and social capital, volunteering and internship options, and financing.

To learn more, see these suggested resources and provider promising practices