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A FREE learning opportunity for Employment Specialists in Maine!
We are NOW recruiting both Mentors and Protégés!

A joint project of DHHS and BRS has led to contracting with Syntiro, Inc of Readfield, Maine to implement a new mentoring program for staff providing job development services in Maine (effective August 1, 2011).

The Mentor Program: The goal of the program is to connect professionals who have extensive experience in the employment and disability field (referred to as mentors) with employment specialists interested in a one-on-one learning opportunity (referred to as protégés).

The mentors will have strong professional values consistent with best practices in community-based employment and a track record of successfully facilitating individualized job placements and supporting people in community employment settings. Mentors will not be matched with protégés who work at their same agency, but they will have an understanding of the issues faced, and populations served, by the protégé.

Beginning in the fall of 2011 up to 18 Employment Specialists will be chosen to be part of this exciting in-state mentoring program. The target group to receive mentoring are Employment Specialists focusing on job development. This program is not designed to offer mentoring to staff working strictly in job-coaching roles, as the focus of the program is on job development. The exception would be a job developer who also has some job-coaching responsibilities.

How the Program Works
Employment Specialists interested in becoming protégés complete an application process and, if accepted, work one-on-one with a mentor for nine months (October - June). Mentor and protégé meet monthly (in person, a minimum of five times; other meetings may be conference calls), with the purpose of helping the protégé improve his/her skills in the area of job development.

Mentors will model best practices as they target the needs of the protégé. The topics covered, and the training techniques used, will vary based on the preferences of each protégé and mentor. Topics may include employer outreach, customizing employment, and the facilitation of natural supports. Mentors may also help protégés with handling a difficult case, increasing confidence when interacting with employers, and negotiating job duties. Mentors may role-play, problem-solve, offer ideas and “tricks of the trade” and share resources and offer practice activities that the protégé may try in the field.

Syntiro, Inc., together with KFI and theinvolvement of an Advisory Group, will be implementing this project.

Application forms and more information available at Syntiro's Workforce Development System page.

For questions now contact Deb Gilmer, Syntiro, Inc
Phone: (207) 685-3171 or (866) 291-0004
Fax: (866) 883-9271