What is Supported Employment?

Developed in 1986, Supported Employment is a service assisting people with developmental disabilities to find employment and businesses to reach a valuable, largely untapped workforce.  Supported Employment provides on-the-job training and support, making job placements highly successful.  Today, there are more than 170,000 individuals with disabilities in the workforce as a result of this service.

Employer Benefits

  • Free Service: EBI’s Supported Employment services are absolutely free to employers.
  • Lower Turnover: Employers see reduced advertising and training costs for positions held by individuals in Supported Employment.
  • Improved Customer Loyalty: One in ten of your customers has a family member with a disability who has the highest regard for employers hiring individuals with disabilities.
  • Interview Support: EBI assists with scheduling and provides support, as needed, during interviews.
  • On-The-Job-Coaches:
    • Provide job training and support on site to your new employee up to 100% of the time during their first few weeks of employment.
    • Teach the new employee job duties and employer policies.
    • Help the new employee build positive relationships with co-workers/customers.
    • Decrease time spent at the job site over the first six months as the employee gains the skills and confidence to work independently.
    • Promote a strong work ethic.
    • Stay in contact with the employee and employer.
    • Increase their time at the job site when an employee is assigned new responsibilities or needs more on-the-job support.
    • Address “off the job” issues that may affect an employee’s performance at work (learning transportation routes, acquiring proper work attire, finding reliable childcare, etc.)

Supported Employment Impacts the Bottom Line

Saving Employers the Cost of     Recruiting     Training     Ongoing Job Support

“Given the nature of our role and responsibilities in our county, the work can be very demanding and needs to be done with integrity, honesty and accuracy.  Brianna has been incredibly successful in every task she has undertaken.  She is a productive member of our community and an asset to this office.”

- Nancy O’Malley,

Alameda County District Attorney

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my company have to pay for the job coaching services?

No, EBI pays for all Job Coach wages and benefits (including Worker’s compensation insurance coverage) through funding from the California Department of Rehabilitation.

Is there a way a person with a disability receiving supported employment can try a job for several days to make sure that it will be a successful match for everyone before hiring?

Yes, many employers choose to have candidates do a 1-3 day job site assessment. During the assessment the candidate tries the job with training and support provided by the Job Coach. The candidate’s wages and benefits are covered by EBI during the assessment.

Should I be concerned about the work place safety of employees receiving supported employment services?

Work place safety practices and procedures are repeatedly emphasized by Job Coaches throughout the initial training and support phase of the job placement. This training increases safety awareness and reduces chances of work accidents and injuries.

Should I be concerned about expensive job site accommodations if I hire someone with a disability?

Employers are not required to lower quality or productivity standards as accommodations, nor are employers required to supply personal use items like glasses or hearing aids. 85% of people with disabilities need no workplace accommodations or need no-cost accommodations. For the 15% of employees needing accommodations with a cost, most are under $500.  EBI can access funding from the Department of Rehabilitation for some of these expenses.

I am interested in becoming an employee partner. How do I get started?

Call EBI at 510.618.1580 x15 and ask for the Director of Supported Employment.

A Winning Formula for Success

good training = confidence & job success

Lisa completed an internship at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. After a year of rotations in different hospital departments and classroom training in employment readiness, Lisa and her 11 classmates with developmental disabilities were prepared to go to work.

Today Lisa works at a job she loves at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, earns a substantial living wage, and has access to medical, dental, and vacation benefits. Valued by the hospital and her team of co-workers, Lisa meticulously organizes and stocks supplies, carefully identifies expired materials, and routinely detects the not so obvious defects in a variety of products.


Building a Stronger Partnership

great work ethic and great attitude

Before being hired for the full-time job he holds today, Joel completed an internship at the Sheriff’s Office through EBI’s Project SEARCH job training program. Excelling at his assignments, when his successful internship ended, the Sheriff was eager to hire him. In February 2011, Joel became employed as a Clerk for Alameda County. “He’s a dedicated, serious, thorough worker who gets the job done right and right now!” describes his supervisor. With accuracy and speed, he maintains and updates databases, files, and checks quality control.

Employer Partnerships

Nob Hill Foods  •  Lowe’s  •  Peet’s Coffee & Tea  •  Raley’s  •  Physical Therapy Innovations

Barnett Plumbing  •  La Clinica De La Raza  •  Tiburcio Vasquez Community Health Clinic

Alameda County Law Library  •  Alameda Alliance  •  Imax Theater  •  Sensiba San Felippo

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland  •  Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

County of Alameda: Sheriff’s Office, Public Health, Assessor’s Office, District Attorney’s Office

Panera Bread  •  Sodexo St. Mary’s College  •  Primus Power  •  Ed Roberts Campus

 Prologis  •  Safeway  •  Trader Joe’s •  Grocery Outlet  •  ProExhibits

CA State Department of Industrial Relations  •  Karry's Collision  •  Bay Area Rapid Transit