Academic journal article The Journal of Rehabilitation

An Investigation of the Job Tasks and Functions of Providers of Job Placement Activities

Academic journal article The Journal of Rehabilitation

An Investigation of the Job Tasks and Functions of Providers of Job Placement Activities

Article excerpt

The purpose of this study was to investigate the current set of job tasks and functions that are performed by individuals providing placement activities in the public, private not for-profit, and the private for-profit rehabilitation settings. Several studies have contributed to job task and function identification of the placement specialist (e.g., Beardsley & Rubin, 1988; Matkin, 1983; Wright, Leahy, & Shapson, 1987). However, due to the lack of recent studies that focus specifically on identifying the job tasks and functions of the placement specialist, a comprehensive study detailing the current stares of the practitioner was warranted. This study establishes a set of current job tasks that are common to individuals who provide job placement activities. In addition, the job tasks were grouped to determine current job functions that are important to individuals providing job placement activities within these three different employment sectors.

This study focused on the specialization of job placement. Some discussion in the literature addresses the need for placement specialists (e.g., Crimando, 1982; Usdane. 1974), but there is a lack of empirical research that specifically describes this specialty area and the functions off its practitioners (Danek, Wright, Leahy, & Shapson, 1987). Most of the research-based knowledge in the placement area was conducted through rehabilitation counseling studies or through the examination of placement as a specific function of the rehabilitation counselor (Zandy & James, 1977).

According to Vandergoot, Jacobsen, and Worrall (1979), placement is the focus off the vocational rehabilitation process. The rehabilitation process is designed to enrich personal productivity, therefore, placement is meant to ensure that the productive ability of individuals is fully utilized. Ideally, placement should result in the optimal use of a person's skills over time. When possible, people should be placed in positions with the likelihood for growth and continuing productive enrichment (Vandergoot et al.).

Vandergoot (1987) conducted a complete review of experiential data on job placement and identified a number of activities and services that improved employment outcomes for people with disabilities. These activities and services included job seeking skills, job finding clubs, counselor familiarity with the world of work. labor market contacts, individualized placement plans, and the job placement specialist and consumer commitment to placement. According to Gilbride, Stensrud, and Johnson (1994), little empirical research has been conducted since 1987 that would expand Vandergoot's findings.

In an ongoing effort to define the rehabilitation practitioner's role and function, researchers have contributed to the knowledge base of the rehabilitation field. The job tasks of the rehabilitation counselor have received the greatest attention (Emener & Rubin, 1980; Emener & Spector, 1985; Fraser & Clowers, 1978; Muthard & Salomone, 1969; Porter, Rubin, & Sink, 1979; Rubin et al., 1984: Wright & Fraser, 1975; Zadny & James, 1977). Other studies have examined the job tasks of vocational evaluators (Coffey, 1978; Coffey & Hansen, 1978; Pruitt, 1972; Taylor, Bordieri, & Lee, 1993: Wright, Leahy, & Shapson, 1987); and work adjustment specialists (Coffey & Ellien, 1979; Early, 1991: Ellien, Menz, & Coffey, 1979).

The role and functions of job placement specialists were one of four direct service provider specialties examined by Willis (1984). Also, Beardsley and Rubin (1988) identified job tasks and knowledge shared by six groups of rehabilitation service providers; job placement specialists constituted one of the groups for this study. It has been almost two decades since the activities of job placement specialists have been explored.

Matkin (1983) conducted a national survey to identify the roles and functions of rehabilitation specialists working in the private sector. …

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