Vocational Rehabilitation and Disability
SKILL TRAINING PLAN [last updated 12/11/03]
Table of Contents:
AND WHAT THEY PAY
C - AS A CONSUMER, QUESTIONS TO ASK SCHOOL SO YOU CAN DOCUMENT THAT
GRADUATES ARE EMPLOYABLE FROM THIS SCHOOL AND ACTUALLY ARE PLACED IN JOBS.
D - ON SCHOOL LETTERHEAD PAPER, ITEMIZATION OF COSTS FOR TOTAL RE-TRAINING PROGRAM
SO THAT FUNDS CAN BE BUDGETED
The purpose of this page is to guide you in completing & documenting in writing the next steps in fine-tuning your "Voc Rehab Plan"
to include the labor market review, response of the school[s] to your questions as a consumer, and the school's itemized costs, etc.
If you are reading this page then it is assumed you have completed the following steps in the planning process, namely:
 Completion of the "Vocational Rehab Counseling Record" and perhaps [updated] resume;
 Use of Career Exploration Questionnaire and Career Zone - "My Portfolio";
 All vocational rehab testing & assessments completed;
 Successful, intensive voc rehab counseling including timely completion of requested task assignments including any Internet & library resource research;
 If requested, possibly you will have completed a signed off "Job Search Agreement";
 Identified at least 2-3 job titles of the specific entry level jobs you will be qualified to perform once training is completed;
 You can demonstrate a quality understanding of what the new career involves and perhaps have been requested to document this understanding using the
"Occupational Outlook Handbook Worksheet"; and
 You will have identified at least 2-3 good schools, which realistically can prepare you for the new career.
This task assignments offered below involve a very comprehensive list of questions and assignments designed to make you as informed as possible so you go into
the program with your eyes wide open.
You may not be able to get every question answered but do your best. The more you learn about your options, the better the long term decision you can make.
Information is power and this will help put you in the drivers seat. Think of this process as follows.
I submit to you that choosing a career & a school is a little like selecting a new car.
It is a major purchase and needs to be done well. Imagine you are considering buying either a Ford or a Chevrolet automobile. To make the best choice you
are asked to compare the auto specs in detail. This is similar to comparing two careers, which are different. Now imagine after you decide say on buying the Ford,
you go to several auto dealers to compare the cost, after sale service, etc. This is similar to checking out the training schools. This is what you are being requested
to do .become a good consumer of voc rehab services. Unfortunately, there is nothing like a "Consumer Reports" publication for schools, so you need to do the
research yourself using these following tools & resources as a guide:
Please check out your local newspaper to research the local labor market on the job titles you have identified as appropriate career goals.
I request you look into 2-3 consecutive Sunday newspaper want ads sections and several daily editions at regular intervals.
Obviously the ads will contain only limited information; however, for documentation purposes and for sake of consistency, please fill in following info as available for each ad you find. You can send this information to me via fax or e-mail.
 Job titles of posted ads
 Geographic spread [you can tell this from the phone area codes; telephone exchanges; zip codes, town
names, etc.]. If available, employer name, city, & phone:
 Types of employers or industry if you can draw any conclusions
 Required skills, qualifications, experience, any certifications or
 If salary information available from ads, document this information
 Part-time or Full-Time hrs?:
information on duties as related to your medical restrictions
The web site link for newspapers is: Nationwide newspapers - area code
product you send me ideally will look something like the
I did a labor market survey over 3 Sundays from 12/6 through 12/20 using
Star Ledger, Asbury Park Press, and Jersey Journal.
#1. Job titles of posted ads covered included Customer Service
Representative, Office Clerk, & Receptionist.
#2. Geographic area covered included North and Central, NJ from Hackensack
in north to Red Bank in south and Jersey City in east to Morristown in west.
More than 2/3 of the ads had no company name but the bulk seemed to be in
the 973 areas code.
#3 - The employers included small ads from 49 different employers including
25 customer service reps, 10 clerks, & 14 receptionists. Appx. 10 ads
which is 20% of the ads appeared to be from larger, well known companies
running these larger ads.
#4. Qualifications - 6 of the 49 mentioned requiring computer literacy or
working knowledge of the computer. 9 mentioned skill using MS Word or
Office. 8 required at least 1 year of experience & 7 stated HS grad only.
5 Salary - Only 5 ads actually mentioned salary which ran from $19,000 -
6. There seemed to be little need for part-time workers since only 4 ads
specified PT hrs. usually in eve or weekends.
7. Physical duties - Generally the ads did not mention physical
requirements of job but 3 jobs did mention either much walking necessary,
lifting boxes over 30 lbs, or often had to climb steps.
My conclusion - It seems there are quite a few jobs out there for this type
of work paying up to $25,000 to start within 45 minutes of home. I would be
qualified to do the work after graduation from a course in office
administrative work prepared me for using the computer to do word
To simplify keeping track of job information, you may wish to use the LMS_Grid as a worksheet
AS A CONSUMER, QUESTIONS TO ASK SCHOOL SO YOU CAN DOCUMENT
THAT GRADUATES ARE EMPLOYABLE & ACTUALLY ARE PLACED IN JOBS.
Please write down each schools response to your questions, and provide me with a copy of the question & the associated response.
SAMPLE QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING AN APPROPRIATE VOC. TECH. SCHOOL OR COLLEGE PROGRAM:
___1. How long will one attend school to graduate at a part-time and full time rate of attendance? Evening classes?
___2. When do courses start during the next 12 months? What are the corresponding end dates?
___3. What is the cost of the total training program?
___4. What is percentage of those graduating compared to those who started program?
___5. What are the job titles the training prepares one to assume immediately upon graduation?
___6. What is the labor market demand for these jobs?
___7. What is the average salary upon graduation: range?, median? Average salary within five years of graduation? At what job titles?
Ideally this will include the estimated annual salary after placement in the surrounding Counties within commuting distance from home?
___8. What is percentage of those graduates who are placed and what is the time frame for placement?
___9. Will school provide a comprehensive list of hiring employers from the last several years with contact name, company name & address, phone number?, etc.
___10. Can school provide the names, addresses, and phone number of a dozen or so current students and graduates who can be contacted for testimonials?
___11. Describe the job placement services provided by school including follow up services?
___12. What are the schools certifications, credentials, etc.? Is the school VA approved?
___13. What are the certifications & background of the instructors?
___14. What is the ratio of instructors to students? Number of part & full time students?
___15. Describe the curriculum. Ask school to compare & contrast to competitive programs in geographic area?
___16. What verification / confirmation does school need from funding source [written or verbal] to confirm authorization funding is approved / authorized;
when is it due?
What information exactly should "Letter of Intent" [intent to pay] include: Written to whom, department name, full mailing address, phone & extension,
and most importantly what fax #.
The ideal would be to e-mail me a fully addressed, draft letter of intent as a sample which contains all the information the school requires.
Very important also - what is the absolute final day the "Letter of Intent" must be in their addressee's hands via fax?
___17. Name, phone, & e-mail address for key job placement contacts for information & consultation liaison?
Perhaps the most frequently asked question is, "How do you rate this school?"
While there is no rating for private business and vocational schools, there are
a few things that you, as the consumer, can be looking for when you are
considering enrolling in schools of this type.
Usually, one of the first people you will speak with at any of the private
business and vocational schools will be a sales representative or agent of some
type. All persons conducting sale are required to carry a permit card indicating
the agent's name and the name of the school. If you have any concerns about the
individual, feel free to ask to see the permit card of the person who is interviewing
you to ensure he or she is an approved sales representative. Also as I understand it
schools are required, by statute, to disclose the following statistics
on their contract or enrollment agreement.
Key questions include:
___1. the number of students who enrolled in the school during the school's last
___2. the number of students who did not complete the course of instruction for
which they enrolled during the school's last fiscal year;
___3. the percentage of students who did not complete the course of instruction for
which they enrolled for the past fiscal year as compared to the number of
students who enrolled in the school during the school's past fiscal year;
___4. the number and percentage of students from the particular school who passed
the State licensing examination (if any) during the school's last fiscal year;
___5. the number and percentage of graduates who requested placement assistance by
the school during the school's last fiscal year;
___6. the number and percentage of graduates who obtained employment as a result of
placement assistance by the school during the school's last fiscal year;
___7. the number and percentage of graduates of the particular school who obtained
employment in the field who did not use the school's placement assistance during
the school's last fiscal year;
___8. the average starting salary for all school graduates employed during the
school's last fiscal year.
By looking closely at these numbers, you can determine the success rate or
completion rate of students who enrolled in the school. By comparing the numbers
indicated in 1, 2, and 3, you will get an indication of how many students
started the course of instruction and made it all the way through. For schools
whose courses are longer than one fiscal year, you need to keep in mind that
some of the students may still be in training.
If you are considering a type of training that involves State licensing from
some other agency (Professional Regulation, Department of Public Health), the
number and percentage listed in 4 will indicate how many graduates of this
particular school passed their licensing exam as a result of the training
received at the school.
The remaining statistics deal with placement of graduates. Not all schools offer
placement assistance, but those who do are required to keep detailed records of
the number of students requesting assistance, the number of graduates placed by
the school or on their own in jobs pertaining to their field of study and an
average starting salary for all students employed. Perhaps these are the most
significant numbers to study when considering a school as they will give you an
indication of the school's ultimate success rate - employed graduates.
Obviously, you will also need a copy of the school curriculum [course descriptions]; web site address; contact name, address, & phone number;
Program description / Overall description / purpose; the next two start dates for both part & full time; The corresponding end date of schooling &
total length of schooling; All tuition & incidental costs of program, Days & hours of program, etc.
ON SCHOOL LETTERHEAD PAPER,
ITEMIZATION OF COSTS FOR TOTAL PROGRAM:
Lab fee? ...
Grad fee? .
ANY OTHER COSTS?
GRAND TOTAL COST TOTAL PROGRAM = $
Home Voc 1 2 3 Medical 4 5 6 Survival 7 8 9 Fun 10 11 12 Custom 13 14 15