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Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services at VA Portland

Veterans Health Administration's VR is appropriate for all Veterans eligible for VA Healthcare, living with barriers to employment, who want to secure and maintain meaningful community-based competitive employment. VHA VR is provided to Veterans with mental illness, substance use disorders, homelessness, criminal justice involvement, physical and other disabilities that contribute to occupational dysfunction.

Employment Walk-in Services

  • Mondays - 9:00 -11:00 a.m.

Vancouver VA campus, 1601 E Fourth Plain Blvd, 98661, Bldg. 18 (main entrance) 

  • Wednesdays - 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Fort Kennedy, 7600 SE Johnson Creek Blvd. Portland, OR 97206

  • Thursdays - 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Community Resource and Referral Center (CRRC), in downtown Portland, 308 SW First Ave., 97204

  • Thursdays – 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Portland VA Medical Center, Bldg. 104, P3 level, 3710 SW US Veterans Hospital Road, 97239 (go to the "MHICM / PRRC, Footsteps to Recovery" office area).

How to Access VHA Voc. Rehab Services

VHA Voc Rehab consult (TSES) submitted by a Primary Care Provider (PCP),Licensed Provider or Prescriber (Psychiatrist, APRN, PA), or accessed through a Walk-in Clinic.

The Program is for Veterans whose lives have been disrupted by mental illness or co-existing physical disability who would benefit from a supportive, stable, and structured approach to work related goals.

VHA Voc. Rehab utilizes work-based treatment to facilitate and strengthen employment potential and to provide a continuum of vocational skill development. Veterans work with clinical staff to overcome barriers in finding employment.

General contact numbers for Vocational Rehabilitation Services:

360-696-4061, ext. 34130 or 31274

Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist (VRS)

After admission into program, Veterans are assigned to a VRS who will assist them with job searching, career assessment, community referrals, and provide follow along supports (if needed).

VHA Voc Rehab helps improve skills including:

  • Communication
  • Computer Literacy/application skills
  • Working with others
  • Working in a structured environment
  • Responsibility & independence
  • Hands-on skills

Treatment Components

  • Transitional Work (TW)
  • Supportive Employment (SE)
  • Community Based employment Services (CBES)

Admission

Upon receipt of a consult, the Veteran will be contacted to contact their physician and complete a medical clearance form. Once complete, Veteran will be scheduled for an initial assessment by Voc. Rehab staff.

Following screening and evaluation, the Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists (VRS) will discuss program options with the Veteran. Veterans may be referred to other programs (i.e., VR&E, Community Employment Programs) if another program is more appropriate.

Enrollment decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

Program Eligibility 

  • Veteran must be eligible for VA services
  • Veteran must be motivated to engage in competitive employment
  • Medical clearance will be obtained prior to CWT enrollment
  • For SE program enrollment, Veteran should have a Serious Mental Illness (SMI) diagnosis

Transitional Work (CWT-TW)

Transitional Work (TW) is a clinical vocational rehabilitation program that operates in a VA medical center and/or local community business industry. Participants are matched to real life work assignments for a time limited basis.  However, participants are not considered employees and do not receive traditional employee benefits.

During TW Programs Veterans will:

  • Be introduced to the process/program
  • Complete a Vocational Assessment
  • Develop a treatment plan
  • Identify short-term and long-term career goals
  • Discover personal and work-related strengths and barriers
  • Learn the job search process including search techniques, job preparation and participation in mock interviews
  • Complete a job development profile (i.e. resume, cover letter, driver’s license, school transcripts, etc.)
  • Be placed in an assignment or discharged from services

Transitional Work placement includes:

  • Work therapy assignment up to 6 months (extensions beyond 6 months are very rare and are based on a case-by-case basis)
  • Work assignments beginning around 20 hours a week
  • Compensation stipend based on area minimum wage.
  • Weekly case management sessions
  • Weekly job site visits

Following graduation from the TW, Veterans will have developed the skills needed to move forward in obtaining competitive employment

Supported Employment (SE)

Supported Employment (SE) provides clinical support to Veterans in full or part-time competitive employment.   The focus is to assist Veterans with psychosis, or other serious mental illness, to gain access to meaningful competitive employment.  These services are generally phased out after a Veteran can maintain employment independently.

Community Based Employment Service (CBES)

The Community Based Employment Services Program (CBES) assists Veterans engaged with VA Mental Health in pursuing competitive employment in the community. The program aims to bolster Veterans’ confidence and self-esteem by assisting with:

  • Vocational assessments
  • Career exploration & development of employment goals
  • Job search support & job development
  • Help with resumes, job applications and cover letters
  • Interview skills building
  • Referrals to VA and community supplementary services & resources

Classes for Veterans

Open to all Veterans enrolled for health care.
To register: contact the VA Portland Community Employment Coordinator @  michael.benko@va.gov503-360- 4049. 

21st Century Job Search Workshop

Searching for employment may be the most difficult job you’ve ever experienced, this workshop, facilitated online the 1st Wednesday of every month at 9:30 a.m. PST/PDT may help you navigate the process.

Topics that will be covered include:

  • Job Search Mindset
  • Preparing for your Job Search
  • Networking
    • Person to Person
    • Social Media
      • LinkedIn
      • Facebook
    • Volunteering
    • Informational Interviews
    • Job Search Websites

Be certain to download the free Microsoft TEAMS App before the presentation.

 

Microsoft Teams meeting

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Meeting ID: 252 888 411 667
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Phone Conference ID: 971 337 549# 


Résumé and Cover Letter Workshop (Online)

Résumé and Cover Letter Workshop

If you don’t have a current résumé, or if you’re not getting invited to job interviews this workshop, facilitated online the 2nd Wednesday of every month at 9:30 a.m. PST/PDT, may help. 

Topics that will be covered include:

  • No résumé?  How to get started
  • Career Exploration
  • Résumé Standards, Formats and Styles
  • What it means to tailor your résumé
  • Cover Letter
  • Job Search Logs

Be certain to download the free Microsoft TEAMS App before the presentation.

 

Microsoft Teams meeting

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Meeting ID: 288 564 964 827
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Veterans Interview Preparation Workshop (Online)

Interview Preparation Workshop

If you’re getting invited to job interviews, your résumé may be doing its job.  However, if you’re not getting employment offers following your interview you may benefit from this workshop facilitated online, the 4th Wednesday of every month at 9:30 a.m. PDT/PST

There may be times when you can’t adequately back up the information you provided in your résumé, other times it might just be a lack of interview skills. 

Topics that will be covered include:

  • Preparing for Interviews & Understand Employer Expectations
  • Interview Formats and Styles
  • Discuss Answers to Difficult Questions
  • Making a Good First Impression

Be certain to download the free Microsoft TEAMS App before the presentation.

 

Microsoft Teams meeting

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Meeting ID: 219 956 627 281
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USA Jobs logo,

USA Jobs/Federal Applications Workshop (Online)

USA Jobs – Federal Applications Workshop

Federal résumés differ from private sector résumés, and one size does not fit all.  This workshop, facilitated online the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 9:30 a.m. PST/PDT, will help you navigate the Federal hiring system and the same general guidelines may apply for any State, County, or City position to which you may apply.

 

Topics that will be covered include:

  • Two-factor Authorization
  • Help Center
  • Create an Account and Build a Profile
  • Hiring Paths and Veterans Preference
  • Prepare a Master Résumé
  • Preview Assessment Questionnaire
  • Selective and Qualitative Factors
  • Performance Based Interviews

Be certain to download the free Microsoft TEAMS App before the presentation.

_______________________________________________________________________

Microsoft Teams meeting

Join on your computer, mobile app or room device

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Meeting ID: 228 355 411 404
Passcode: NJmmRY

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Phone Conference ID: 459 737 056#