Wisconsin's VR Career Advancement Initiative

Presentation with live Q&A
In this Section

Wisconsin is one of eight state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies implementing the newly funded Career Advancement Initiative Model Demonstration sites supported by the Rehabilitation Services Administration. The project represents a partnership and commitment between VR and other Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) partners to develop meaningful career pathways for individuals with disabilities. Helping VR consumers advance in high-demand, high-quality careers, is essential for expanding earning potential and opportunity. Engagement in healthcare, digital technology, manufacturing, and construction pathways is critical for improving and maximizing competitive integrated employment outcomes, enhancing economic self-sufficiency, inclusion in society, and reducing reliance on public benefit programs. Presenters will share early implementation perspective on the model including the partnerships needed, staffing and infrastructure requirements, data collection methods and systems, and early lessons learned. Conversation among state VR personnel will be encouraged.

Meet the Presenters:

Jessica Holton
photo of JessicaJessica currently serves as the Program Manager for Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)'s Career Pathways Advancement Initiative and as a State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (SVRA) Liaison for the Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Quality Employment (VRTAC-QE). Previously, she was with WI DVR as a Program & Policy Analyst – Advanced for over five years, a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) and VRC-Advanced in Milwaukee, WI for six years, and a VRC in Bloomington, IN for over two years. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor with an M.S. in Rehabilitation Psychology from UW-Madison. She also recently completed San Diego State University's National Rehabilitation Leadership Institute.

Photo of EllieEllie Hartman, Ph.D., Department of Workforce Development (DWD)’s Workforce Data Integration System (WDIS) Chief Evaluation Officer
Ellie coordinates the DWD's WDIS learning agenda, evaluation plan, and DWD's Longitudinal Workforce Database. In addition, Dr. Hartman wrote and provides leadership and evaluation consultation for the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) Disability Innovation Funded Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Career Pathways Advancement Initiative. She also provides external evaluation support for the National Technical Assistance Center for Transition: the Collaborative (NTACT:C). Previously, she was the Project Manager for the Wisconsin PROMISE grant, and Project Manager for Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE), a Wisconsin inter-agency effort to increase CIE via Act 178