Employment Development Services


The Employment Development Services (EDS) program is designed overall to serve those individuals whose skills are insufficient for participation in either a work adjustment or placement program.

Participants are taught to better understand themselves, set realistic goals and develop critical social behaviors, coping skills and basic living skills.

Expected Client Outcomes

At the conclusion of the program it is expected that the client will be able to participate successfully in a work adjustment program.

The desired outcomes may be summarized as follows:
  1. The client is referred to a higher level program to continue rehabilitation
  2. The client will be referred for community services (e.g., day activities, work activities, full-time counseling) where employment is not feasible due to the severity of disability
  3. The client may achieve independent living
  4. The client may achieve employment

Clients served

  • Emotionally Disabled
  • Physically Disabled
  • Developmentally Disabled
  • Severely Disabled
  • Those with multiple disabilities
  • Unemployed; underemployed, inappropriately employed
  • Those lacking in basic living skills, basic social skills, basic work habits, basic work experience

Services Provided

Our EDS program is often a precursor to work adjustment, as it combines a pre-vocational classroom component with actual work experience following an “earn while you learn” model - the participant thus has opportunity to apply the skills learned in class to the actual work environment.

This program is designed to help the participant become more productive for the duration of their vocational life.

Classroom modules include self-awareness, attitude, self-esteem, goals/motivation/time management and job awareness and are flexible and individualized. Wage is based on productivity and determined using structured performance measurement system (the PM III) to measure competitiveness.

Admission Criteria

The individual referred to the EDS program must meet the facility admission criteria as stated in the introduction. In addition, the person should be lacking basic living skills, behavior or knowledge necessary for employment or further training. The person must be currently unemployed and express desire and willingness to improve on their present living status.

Service Time

This program is currently 10 days in duration, combining three hours of class, not-for-pay, with three hours of applied work, with the wage add-on stipend.

This program has a rolling enrollment. Flexible scheduling is typically 20 days in length and is often used as a precursor to work adjustment.

Note: class in Lake County has fixed schedule without rolling enrollment and must have a minimum of participants referred to begin.

Service Location

Goodwill Training Center

600 Hulbert Ave.
Ashtabula, OH 44004

An outreach variant in EDS program is available to more conveniently serve the needs of consumers referred outside the Ashtabula County area. This class is held at the nearest Goodwill store. This class does not have a rolling enrollment and consists of 10-20 days of programming (as scheduled, three hours of class and three hours of applied work in the Madison Store) utilizing the same curriculum.

Who is eligible for these services?

Eligibility is based on three factors:
  1. Participant has a physical or mental impairment which causes or results in a substantial impediment to employment
  2. The participant can benefit from services that lead to employment and...
  3. The participant requires vocational rehabilitation to prepare for, secure, retain or regain employment.

Services can also be accessed by Goodwill program participants.

How can you access this service?

EDS participants are referred through:

The Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation, Cleveland BVR Office
14650 Detroit Ave., Ste. 300
Lakewood, OH 44107

Voice: (216)227-3250
TTY: (216)227-3292
FAX: (216)227-3293
Toll-free: (866)325-0026

Program Procedures

The vocational evaluator (if applicable), referring counselor, client and EDS program manager review the work evaluation report. The client’s goals are discussed with them and the program is explained.

Those clients referred directly to EDS are contacted for an initial interview by the program manager. The purpose of the interview is to establish rapport, discuss the client’s vocational goals and rehabilitation plan and confirm that the client understands the purpose and expectations of the program.

The client is given an orientation to the general rules and regulations of Goodwill Industries.

An individual vocational rehabilitation plan is drawn up by the program manager in collaboration with the participant and identifies areas which need to be addressed.

Regular “staffings” are held with the referring counselor, EDS program manager and the client to review progress and promote continued communication.

The program manager is responsible for the bi-weekly staffing summaries and any necessary program modifications.

A final staffing is held prior to the program discharge date.

There is no monetary compensation while participating in the classroom modules of the program. An individual may receive ancillary services while in programming provided by other agencies. Typical examples of ancillary services provided may be dental, optical, physical therapy, speech therapy, speech and hearing evaluations, mental health counseling or psychotherapy sessions.

Referral Source Information and Responsibilities

Special “staffings” may be held when a specific problem arises.

Client information is reviewed and recommendations and plans for a transition into further services are finalized with the rehabilitation team, referring counselor, client and the client’s family, if indicated.

The final EDS report and/or discharge summary of Goodwill Industries is sent to the referring agency at the finish of the client’s program. The report summarizes services rendered, problems encountered, personal strengths and weaknesses and the outcome of the accomplishments during the program duration. Recommendations for further services and/or training are given in this report.

The referring counselor is asked to provide referral information, attend “staffings”, and provide reports of other relevant services the client may be receiving.

Discharge Criteria

  1. Client will have obtained awareness of personal strengths and how these characteristics might apply within a work context; also awareness regarding trait areas needing to be further bolstered to enhance job success
  2. Client will demonstrate the ability to sustain attendance over the program duration
  3. Client will demonstrate participation and involvement to their greatest potential
  4. Client will gain practical insight regarding the demands of work, and a greater awareness of the behavioral, interpersonal and life skills necessary to obtain and maintain employment
  5. Client will provide input on further recommendations