Community Employment

Committed to increasing the employment rate of people with disabilities by focusing on abilities……

TradeWinds Employment Services department serves people with both intellectual and physical disabilities and is an agency for the State of Indiana FSSA Vocational Rehabilitation Services. TradeWinds Employment Specialists attend continuing education courses, and are certified to assist people with disabilities and work with employers. They are trained job coaches assisting clients in maintaining employment, working on-site, hands-on or off-site behind the scenes.

What TradeWinds Employment Services does….

  • Upon referral from Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), an Employment Specialist is assigned to a client.
  • The Employment Specialist completes a Discovery Plan with the client.
  • Employment Specialist prepares client to obtain and maintain employment.
  • Employment Specialist works closely with the client and provides many services to the employer.
  • We offer training workshops that assist the client in understanding expectations of employers. Some workshops include but not limited to:
    • Effective interviewing
    • Professionalism in the workplace
    • Essential skills for the workplace.

People with disabilities are capable of many different jobs…

  • Customer Service
  • Food Preparation
  • Computer / Data Entry
  • Stocker / Bagger
  • Hospitality
  • Clerical
  • Janitorial / Maintenance
  • Assembly / Manual Labor

Hiring people with disabilities can offer a number of important financial, legal, public relations and productivity advantages for a business:

  • Gain a new and vital talent pool of workers
  • Increased diversity in the workplace
  • Employee and client appreciation
  • High employee retention rates
  • Tax Benefits

To learn more about the advantages your company can gain from hiring people with disabilities

including more information about federal tax benefits for your company,

contact Michelle Novak, Employment Services Community Liaison & Trainer, 219.801.4500.



NIPSCO Grant Helps Workers Gain Experience

Community work experience breaks down barriers and gives people an opportunity to show employers what they can do. Thanks to a grant from NIPSCO, Employment Services partnered with County Market in Gary for an 8-week program that allowed 2 workers to earn $7.25/hr for 16 hrs of work. Given the opportunity to be maintenance workers that did janitorial tasks, stocked shelves, bagged groceries and provided customer service, these workers now have a proven track record to show prospective employees. One was even offered a job at County Market but the schedule was incompatible, so he was placed at Taco Bell in Munster, and the other worker is looking at other opportunities as well. Next, Employment Services is working on the final details for a similar partnership with the parent company that runs the Best Western in Valparaiso and Comfort Inn in Hammond.