Your disability employment initiative will require talent—the right talent—in order to be successful. Of course, your company’s initiative is about hiring people with disabilities, but like all new hires, this team must be qualified, trainable and able to meet your company’s performance metrics and safety standards.

To get the talent your initiative needs, you’ll probably end up working with multiple employment agencies—and the best way to be effective when you’re dealing with several community employment partners is to identify a lead agency, define expectations and then help build collaboration.


Identify a Lead Agency

Picking one agency to act as the “quarterback” with the other agencies can help make the collaboration process easier. After conducting in-person meetings with all considered agencies, you should simply pick the one that you and your core team feel is the best fit for the role.


Define Expectations

Before you outline your agencies’ roles and responsibilities, have a clear understanding of where you may need assistance, where you can be flexible and where you require strict adherence to standards. You may even want to create a document for each agency that clearly defines each agency’s responsibilities, acceptable timing for deliverables and the corresponding responsibilities of your company.


Build Collaboration

One you’ve identified your lead agency and each agency’s roles and responsibilities, set up a preliminary meeting with the lead agency to discuss any possible obstacles as well as prepare for questions that might arise from the other agencies.

Then, bring your partners together (make sure VR is invited) for a kickoff meeting at your facility to discuss your program’s objectives and goals, your intent to work with all the agencies, and to outline opportunities and expectations.

At the meeting, explain that your company assessed and met with agencies in the community and chose one to serve as the lead for its disability employment and inclusion initiative. Define the lead agency’s role and highlight the expectation of all agencies working together to meet your company’s needs.


By the way, conducting this kickoff meeting at your site does three important things: first, it firmly establishes you, the company, as the driver of the meeting, and lets the agencies know you’re setting the standards and the expectations. This is about the work at your site.

Second, it sets up the lead agency and roles and responsibilities, and demonstrates that you’ve made the choice of who to work with, and how the partnership will work.

Finally, it makes it easy for you to offer a facility tour, which will help them better understand job requirements and expectations.

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