PMH operates three Vocational and Employment Center (VEC) Programs, providing vocational training and work readiness training services.
The Hartman, Rochester, and Vail VEC Programs provide supports and services to individuals residing within western Pennsylvania and are located in Harmarville, Rochester, and Mt. Pleasant Pennsylvania, respectively. These supports are structured to provide progressive work skills training, training in pre-vocational skills, and work experience.
Each VEC Program’s goal is to foster choice and independence, skills development, and positive interaction for each individual. The VEC Programs provide an opportunity for exposure to different types of activities to help individuals establish preferences and interests. Individuals have the opportunity to participate in paid employment, volunteer activities, or vocation-oriented tasks. These skillsets support successful integration into the community.
PMH’s VECs offer training opportunities to allow individuals to be exposed to a variety of activities to help them develop skills and establish personal preferences. Individuals may choose to work on activities such as word/object identification, communication skills, cooperative interaction, sorting, packaging, money handling, and cash register use. Based on those skills and preferences, individuals may then elect to seek paid employment, vocation-based tasks, or volunteer activities.
Job support focuses on the development of work skills vital to securing competitive employment within the community and attaining independence. Trained Direct Support Professionals meet with community leaders and local businesses to identify jobs that are available in the community and to learn how individuals with disabilities can become part of the competitive employment process. Once hired by a local company, individuals are supported by a Job Coach who provides appropriate guidance, as needed, for them to succeed in their chosen area of competitive employment.
Individuals supported by PMH, when appropriate, are encouraged to choose activities designed to assist them in meeting their personal goals and allow them to participate in community events. With support and assistance, these activities consist of a wide range of volunteer activities including participation in Friendship Clubs sponsored by local school districts or volunteering to help at food banks and animal shelters. To prepare for volunteer activities within the community, volunteer opportunities exist within PMH’s offices, grounds, and/or community partners. Recreational activities such as crafts, puzzles, and games are also useful in teaching skills such as relationship building and manual dexterity.