Job Description

Job Title: Vocational Specialist
Job ID: 730766
Status: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm
Shift: Day Job
Facility: Western Psychiatric Institute
Department: Vocational Training Svcs
Location: 1015 Bingham Street, Pittsburgh PA 15203


The position of Vocational Specialist is within UPMC's Vocational Training Center, which includes the Vocational Center and the Supported Employment Program. Individuals served in these programs have diagnoses including Intellectual Disability and/or Autism, and in many cases a secondary mental health diagnosis. The Vocational Specialist is responsible for the development, implementation, and documentation of educational, vocational, and adaptive behavior skill training activities to support consumers in the acquisition of skills necessary to increase their level of independent functioning in the community, and to provide intervention as necessary to support individuals capable and interested in advancing to a more independent work setting. The incumbent will also provide supervision and instruction to assigned client groups during the course of the client workday and individual programming requirements to be met. The Vocational Specialist is also responsible for providing individualized training and instruction for those consumers choosing to secure competitive employment in the community. Following successful placement, on-site training and follow-up is provided to assure maintenance of proper job performance. Position requires ability to maintain effective and ongoing communication with consumers, coworkers, supervisors, employers, family members and other service providers. This position will require participation in many or all of the major tasks and duties below, as assigned.

  • Assist Program Specialists in development and coordination of Individual Program Plans (IPPs) and required quarterly updates.
  • Assist consumers as necessary with basic self-care and hygiene activities as needed.
  • Assist in the production of paid work opportunities by preparing paid work assignments, providing group coverage for co-workers as needed, and by assisting in the and bulk mailing assembly and final boxing of completed jobs when needed.
  • Assure compliance with all Federal, State and County regulations, WPIC and UPMC Health System policies and guidelines.
  • Assure that consumer transportation needs are adequately coordinated.
  • Comply with additional program-related directives as required by direct supervisor and other appropriate administrative staff.
  • Conduct job analysis and participate in team meetings to determine consumer/job match.
  • Cooperate with & provide necessary information to other support staff involved in the welfare of the program participants.
  • Coordinate program activities & maintain appropriate level of communication with families & residential providers.
  • Develop and deliver appropriate, measurable, and attainable goal plans for each assigned client in conjunction with the treatment team.
  • Develop and implement an individualized strategy to enable consumers to explore career choices.
  • Develop and implement individualized written service plan including strategies for training, integration and support.
  • Develop and implement specific training programs to eliminate job performance problems and to address any potential behavior management concerns.
  • Develop community-integrated employment opportunities specifically geared toward that individual. Prepare and schedule consumer for job interviews.
  • Document monthly goal plan progress and make revisions as necessary.
  • Establish and maintain good working relationships with all program staff, family members, participating agencies, and employers.
  • Meet with individuals and primary care providers to complete consumer assessment, provide program information and elicit participation. Provide vocational guidance and counseling as needed.
  • Monitor plan throughout job placement.
  • Orient, train and backup a consumer at a work site until the job performance and behavior meet the expectations of the employer.
  • Provide daily instruction and supervision to both individuals and group participants. Present daily schedule of coverage to be assigned by Program Coordinator.
  • Provide intensive program component to prepare clients for possible movement to a more advanced independent vocational setting such as community employment.
  • Provide job development, on-the-job training and follow-up services to facilitate job retention, wage increases and job promotion.
  • Submit written and electronically generated documentation to supervisor in a timely manner.


  • Bachelor's degree, preferably in Special Education, Vocational Rehabilitation, Psychology, or other human service field. Prior experience in an applied setting working with individuals with Intellectual Disabilities is preferred.  
  • Experience with individuals with a dual (MH/ID) diagnosis is highly desirable.  
  • Prior experience in the design, implementation, and evaluation of behaviorally oriented treatment programs, and/or in job development, assessment, training and follow-up services is preferred.  
  • Good writing and communication skills. 
  • Effective interpersonal skills are essential, as position requires frequent interaction with private sector employers on behalf of the consumers being served.  
  • Candidate must be able to work independently, maintain flexible hours and provide own transportation to job sites (for Supported Employment duties).
  • No one under the age of 18 will be employed. 
  • If transporting consumers, a valid Drivers License is expected. 
  • Basic computer literacy.

Licensure, Certifications, and Clearances:
  • Act 31 Clearance
  • Act 33 Child Clearance with Renewal
  • Act 34 Criminal Clearance with Renewal
  • Act 73 FBI Clearance
  • Comprehensive Crisis Management - CCM training is required within 30 days of hire and annually thereafter

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. Minority/Females/Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

Salary Range: $14.53 to $22.86 / hour

Union Position: No

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