Guest writer, Warren Cook vocational program manager, blogs about vocational opportunities for clients at the Ranch.
If you follow our website, you may have noticed a change to our alternate educational opportunities around November 2017. In summation, the decision was made to divide the existing CVEP (Community Vocational Educational Program) into three separate programs, each with a slightly different focus. A client’s placement is dependent on his or her cognitive and physical assessments. The change allowed us to ensure we were incorporating person-centered planning for each individual client.
From the outset all of that may sound dry and boring – so let’s get to the interesting parts!
Let’s take a deeper look into the Vocational Training Employment Program, better known around here as “VTEP,” which currently has 13 clients.
VTEP’s focus is on developing life skills, vocational training and skill development, and supervised vocational activities for our clients. This takes many forms, dependent on the individual client’s interest – some are immersed in woodworking, some have taken a shining to automotive maintenance, and still more have discovered a talent for welding and metal work.
The program is largely driven by our job coaches, the staff who use their specialized skills in areas like carpentry or automotive repair to teach our clients the skills they need to succeed in these areas.
VTEP clients can be found almost everywhere in our agency. They have taken over Ranch Ehrlo’s catering program – when food is needed for large scale training events, for example, they prepare and serve the meal. They assist our property management department with small construction-related jobs in our many buildings, and lend a hand in maintaining our fleet of vehicles as well. And our inter-office mail program wouldn’t work without VTEP clients providing courier services between our many locations within the city.
What we believe is that our clients, under the right circumstances, with the right supervision and encouragement, are capable of just about anything. Having our programs set up so clients are placed based on their physical and cognitive ability at a given time gives us a measurable benchmark to look back on, allowing us to clearly see – and celebrate – each of their successes.