Supported Employment Program
First, what is Progress?
Progress is a not-for-profit organization, dedicated to supporting adults with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1971 by parents with developmentally disabled "adult" children, Progress is now an industry leader providing residential and day supports to more than 140 adults in Nashville and six contiguous counties.
What is Supported Employment?
Supported employment is a program designed to assist disabled adults in securing, training for and maintaining community-based employment.
Progress begins the supported employment process by assessing the abilities of the individuals supported, targeting the type of position(s) best suited to the individual. At Progress, there are then two different kinds of placements - individual or group (enclave) placement.
With an individual placement, an employer hires the individual outright, and the person becomes a paid employee of that company. Progress provides a job coach, at no cost to the employer, as long as is necessary for the individual supported to thoroughly learn the job. In the group or enclave situation, Progress contracts with the employer, providing a small group of workers to complete a job. Sometimes, it may take two or three individuals with disabilities to complete all facets of one particular job. An enclave offers our individuals the opportunity to work as a team, to complete all of the responsibilities of a particular position.
How are these individuals paid?
If an individual supported is hired outright by a company, (called an individual placement,) that individual is paid directly by that company and would receive the prevailing wage. With an enclave, the individuals' performances are assessed using a time study, and a wage is determined based upon their abilities. (known as a training wage by the Department of Labor) In most cases, when an employer contracts for an enclave, the prevailing wage for a particular position is appropriately divided amongst all of the members of the enclave.
What are the tangible benefits of the Supported Employment Program offered by Progress?
There are countless benefits to utilizing Progress's individuals to supplement an employer's workforce.
- First and foremost, an employer receives dependable, motivated, dedicated and hard-working individuals who merely want the opportunity to prove themselves as productive members of society.
- Progress provides an on-site job coach for any and all placements in the community; provided free of charge, to assist with training, supervision, and quality control at the job site.
- Progress assumes all liability, including Workman's Compensation, and general liability. In the case of an enclave, employers save time and money. Progress bills the employer for services rendered, and Progress then sees that all members of the enclave are appropriately paid. Finally, an employer need never worry about a job not being completed on time due to absenteeism. In the event of the illness of a team member, Progress secures a substitute to work with the group. In doing so, an employer is guaranteed that the job will always be completed.