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Vocational Specialist | Western Psychiatric Hospital



This Vocational Specialist position is within UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital’s Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders (CADD) inpatient unit. The CADD Inpatient Program follows a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and co-occurring mental health conditions. The Vocational Specialist will primarily work with the adult patients, 18 years-old and up. The Vocational Specialist is responsible for the development, implementation, and documentation of educational, vocational, and adaptive behavior skill training activities to support patients in the acquisition of skills necessary to increase their social/adaptive functioning and quality-of-life in the community or aftercare setting. Vocational programming will be provided in both group and individual modalities. Position requires ability to maintain effective and ongoing communication with patients, coworkers and multidisciplinary team, supervisors, family members and other service providers and agencies. 



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


  • 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 Driver's License is expected. Basic computer literacy.

Licensure, Certifications, and Clearances:

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
  • Comprehensive Crisis Management (CCMC)
  • Act 31 Child Abuse Reporting with renewal
  • Act 33 with renewal
  • Act 34 with renewal
  • Act 73 FBI Clearance with renewal

UPMC is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran

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   Current UPMC employees must apply in HR Direct