An individual employment plan (IEP) is a crucial way to help your workforce grant clients succeed. Once you've completed a comprehensive assessment of your clients' skills and abilities, a well-written IEP can act as a roadmap for a successful career plan. However, an IEP should be a collaboration between you and your clients. Although it can be tempting to step in and take over when your client struggles, that will deprive them of the ownership that will ultimately make their IEP more effective.
Although an IEP has many benefits for your clients, you may run into some roadblocks when you sit down to help them write one. Here are some tips for effectively co-writing a strong IEP.
Writing an IEP can seem like one more hoop to jump through for people who have already filled out a lot of paperwork. Before you get started, ensure your clients thoroughly understand the purpose of the IEP and the process you'll use to co-write it. Explain that it's the plan that will help them accomplish their goals and that it's not just going to be tossed in a drawer when you're finished. When your clients understand the value of an IEP, they're more likely to be enthusiastic participants in writing it. They're also more likely to accomplish their goals if they were the ones to decide on them.
When confronted with a client who doesn't seem to have a specific goal, the easiest option may seem to be to set a goal for them and move on. This approach is rarely effective. Instead, take some time to dig in and find out the cause of their resistance. People rarely achieve goals that other people set for them. If your client truly has no idea what they want to do, make figuring out what they're interested in the first step in their IEP. Action steps could include researching careers and job shadowing.
If fear or a lack of abilities holds your clients back, they may need counseling or remedial skill training as the first step in their IEP. You'll need to discover the underlying issues your clients face to help them fully engage in their career planning.
Although community college may seem like the obvious choice of career training for your workforce grant clients, it's not always the best option. Some of your clients may do better with a self-paced, online certification class that lets them set their own schedule. Others may have interests and aptitudes for subjects that local community colleges don't cover. By expanding their career training options, you can bring in training subjects or methods that may be a better fit to help them reach their goals.
Online certification programs are usually less expensive than taking classes at a community college. Additionally, parents and other nontraditional students often prefer online options because they’re easier to fit into busy schedules.
Healthcare and IT certifications such as those offered by MedCerts are particularly beneficial for workforce grant clients because they are consistently in high demand. Certification in one of these growing fields is an optimal entry point and provides a great foundation for future advancement.
Writing an IEP with your client instead of for them is the best way to make sure they fully invest in their future. An IEP that includes MedCerts online certifications can help your clients find a better career faster.