A 4-year degree in human services or business field is preferred; or a high school diploma and 2 years’ experience, or comparable knowledge, in either the field of disability services or marketing/sales. Must have flexibility to adjust to changes in scheduling and work assignments, including early mornings, days, evenings and weekends. Pass all required Illinois Healthcare Workers Background Checks. Candidates must possess a valid driver’s license and have a clean driving record.


The Community Employment Specialist serves as the primary liaison between the business community, job seekers, families, state funders and Avenues to Independence support team. In this role, the Community Employment Specialist is responsible for all competitive, integrated placements by networking with community employers to develop relationships and opportunities for individuals seeking work.

Essential Responsibilities:

Act as the liaison for a variety of community based employment sites, ensuring the satisfaction of community employers as well as maintaining an up to date understanding of the current job market and needs of local businesses.

Evaluate program participant’s placement and employability potential to ensure appropriate job match.

Work a flexible schedule based on the scheduling needs of the individuals served and their employer. Maintain availability to meet demands of community employers and job seekers, including direct support of all new hires from assigned caseload for a prescribed timeframe.

Market and represent the agency and job seekers in a manner designed to increase positive agency exposure and maximize sustainable job placements.

Provide job support to people with intellectual/developmental and other disabilities within integrated employment settings.

Ensure compliance with all applicable local, accreditation, State and Federal certification and licensure requirements and standards.

Promote the health and safety of all involved parties by ensuring they receive appropriate services and have access to resources designed to meet their specific needs, as well as those of the program.

Provide training on employer personnel policies and specific job skills coaching through the least intrusive system possible.

Effectively communicate with the individual, employer, coworkers, and family to facilitate on the job and situational assessments. Identify and implement job modifications and reasonable accommodations to promote the success of the individual and job retention.

Coordinate and provide public transportation and other travel training to and from the community worksite.

Discuss and implement support reductions, or plans to fade coaching support, in collaboration with the individual, the employer, other agency staff, funding source, and other interested parties.

Maintain neat, accurate and timely documentation as well as facilitate on-site vocational assessments.

Function as part of the interdisciplinary team providing input on performance with recommendations to the individual’s community support team and/or at IPE or IDT meetings.

Remain abreast of the current trends and issues in the field of integrated community employment.

Represent the values and mission of Avenues to Independence to other professionals, employers, the general public, individuals served and agency employees.

Responsible for maintaining a safe workplace by following and teaching individuals served safety procedures, implementing good housekeeping practices and proper materials handling, enforcing the use of protective equipment when necessary and reporting all unsafe acts and conditions.

Work collaboratively with other agency staff and external customers to enhance communication, maintain positive work relationships, identify the needs of others, provide timely responses and promote teamwork for the common purpose of internal and external customer service.

Ensure the dignity of individuals served by treating them with respect and understanding at all times. Act as an advocate for those served and assist individuals in developing the tools necessary for self-advocacy.

Demonstrate capacity to manage multiple demands; with flexibility in adapting to new challenges, while maintaining priorities.

Attends seminars, conventions, and other training sessions for the purpose of career growth and development.

Perform other duties as required or assigned.

Desired Leadership Skills:

  • Effective team member
  • Person-centered services
  • Good Communicator (written and verbal)
  • Self-directed
  • Creative problem-solver
  • Strong work ethic
  • Represents Avenues’ mission and values

Exempt Status:

No, per the federally mandated threshold for non-exempt employees

Reports To:

Community Employment Coordinator

This description effective August 15, 2022 and supersedes all previous.

For more information on this position contact Avenues. In the Comments box, please make reference to the "Community Employment Specialist" position.