ECLC’s services seamlessly continue after graduation, helping young adults make the right choice about the next step in their lives.
Transition services are provided by Community Personnel Services, Inc. (CPS). The experienced staff partners with clients and their families to help determine the appropriate setting as they enter adulthood. Working with CPS, students sample jobs prior to graduation with the goal of identifying the best match. For students who may not be ready for employment, the staff arranges tours of programs and provides assistance in locating funding sources for those programs. CPS also helps clients navigate through the maze of state and federal agencies to access aid and services.
These transition and employment services are provided to ECLC students as well as students from other districts and adults referred by state agencies, including the N.J. Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (NJDVRS), N.J. Division of Developmental Disabilities (NJDDD) and the N.J. Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI).
As graduation nears for ECLC students, a separate, non-profit, offshoot called Community Personnel Services, Inc., (CPS) offers critical transition services as well as job placements.
This supported employment agency was created by ECLC in 1995 to enrich the lives of all our students by helping them determine appropriate options for life after graduation, whether it’s employment, a day program or other alternative. CPS has grown from serving an initial graduating class of 30 ECLC students to currently serving 200+ clients.
Based on their skills, abilities and interests, students sample jobs prior to graduation with the goal of identifying the best match. For students who may not be ready for employment, the staff arranges tours of programs and assistance in locating funding sources for those programs. CPS also helps clients navigate through the maze of state and federal agencies to access aid and services.
These transition and employment services are provided to all ECLC students and also offered to students from other districts and adults referred by state agencies, including the N.J. Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (NJDVRS), N.J. Division of Developmental Disabilities (NJDDD) and the N.J. Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI). Learn more by visiting the CPS Website.
One of CPS’s longtime partners was named "Employer of the Year" at the 2012 annual meeting of the New Jersey chapter of APSE. CPS nominated the Greater Morristown Area Y for this honor because of its commitment over the years, including employing two CPS clients and allowing students, who are working with CPS as they transition from school, to tour or job "sample" at the Y's child care centers. In giving the award, Dan Baker of APSE’s Board said: "We are here to celebrate local heroes. Without employers like the Y, there would be no jobs for people with disabilities." Read more.
CPS's Jennifer Rokosh was named the 2012 statewide "Employment Specialist of the Year” by APSE for her ability “to approach barriers to employment with creative ideas which helps to eliminate both employee and employer concerns." CPS Director, Alison Chernela, wrote in the nomination form, “Any time a client needs a voice at the workplace, Jen is there. Jen is innovative, caring and quick to think of ways to provide the employers opportunities to get to know the clients for their expertise not their challenges." Read more.
CPS client Erik Becker won the 2011 Tony Rocco Award, given annually to an outstanding individual with disabilities who has overcome significant barriers to become successfully employed. The award is bestowed by the New Jersey Rehabilitation Association. Becker deals with multiple challenges, but his warmth and upbeat personality always shine through. He is a graduate of the Ho-Ho-Kus campus, and in his final year of school, CPS helped him explore career options and make Becker’s dream job come true. Read more.
CPS has launched a brand new website that's mobile-friendly and easy to use. Visit us today at http://cpsofnj.org.
Community Personnel Services, Inc. (CPS)
54 Fairmount Avenue
Chatham, N.J. 07928
Director Alison Chernela
Tel: (973-738-1030 x129)
After a rigorous review process, Community Personnel Services (CPS) has, once again, renewed its three-year accreditation from CARF (the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) for services it provides to students and adults with developmental disabilities. The CARF International group of companies accredits more than 50,000 programs and services at 23,000 locations.
CARF professionals visited CPS and spent several days evaluating on some 1,000 areas of compliance in policies, procedures and practices. They also interviewed clients, employers and staff. CPS has received accreditation in the following areas: Transition Services, Transition Services for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Community Employment (Job Development and Employment Supports) for Adults, and Community Employment for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Two recent ECLC graduates, Jahad and Christian Mayers, who are now clients of Community Personnel Services and working at Century 21 in Elizabeth, were named "Team Members of the Month" for October.
The young men are twin brothers who graduated from our Chatham school in June. CPS employment specialist Carolyn Gildersleeve found them jobs in the men's department of the large retail store, where they've enjoyed a successful transition into the world of work. Christian works in men's shirts and measures customers to help them with sizes and ensures his area is organized. Likewise, Jahad in the busy men's shoe department keeps everything clean and displayed correctly.
They were nominated by their supervisor, Vanessa Velastegui, who calls them "treasures." "They have such focus and drive when they get to work. And, they've been like that since Day 1. I hold them out as an example to others," she said.
They always take the initiative to go beyond what they're asked to do. They leave notes for their manager, for example, letting her know what's a hot selling item or color and alerting her when things go out of stock.
"They have the respect of all team members, managers and, most importantly, our guests," she said. "And, they are only getting better each day!"