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JobFusion - Community Employment Services

The Fairfield County Board of DD/JobFusion supports each person’s desire to work, and believes that with adequate planning and supports each individual can be successful in employment.

JobFusion services are provided and/or funded by the Fairfield County Board of Developmental Disabilities and the Opportunities for Onioans with Disabilities. These services include: Transportation, community-based assessment, vocational evaluation, personal and work adjustment, job shadowing, job coaching, employability skills, tutoring, travel training, job development, job placement, career exploration, benefits analysis, job club, safety-awareness, rehabilitation technology services and job retention and follow-along services.

Current Fairfield County Employment First Initiatives:

Fairfield Medical Center (FMC)/Project SEARCH in a partnership with the Fairfield Medical Center, Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OODA), and the Fairfield County Board of DD/s JobFusion Employment Service. This program is based at FMC and provides each participant with an opportunity to experience a variety of internships at the medical center during the last year of school. An on-site instructor is provided by Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools and job training and job development services are provided by JobFusion with funding by the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities. 

The Zone: The Fairfield County Board of DD/JobFusion in collaboration with Ohio University-Lancaster (OU-L) and Fairfield Industries supports the food service operations at the student center on the OU-L campus referred to as “The Zone”. Individuals from the Fairfield County Board of DD/JobFusion expressed a desire to work in the food services industry may work in any number of employment opportunities provided by “The Zone.”

The Logistics Project

The logistics project that includes DSW Shoes, The Franklin County Board of DD’s Community Employment Services, Fairfield County Board of DD’s Job Fusion Employment Service, Embracing Autism, Project Search and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities is nearing the final stages of developing a new partnership with Designer Shoe Warehouse (DSW).  The goal of the partnership is to serve as a training site for workers with disabilities that will provide individuals with marketable skills that will lead to employment at either DSW or some other type of logistic business.

The new partnership will be an adult Project Search Model that will offer trainees the opportunity to participate in internships that provide them the knowledge and skills to become part of the workforce Potential Jobs range from those requiring the least technical skills such as preparing boxes to those that were fast-paced and required critical decision-making skills and the ability to use scanning technology.  DSW offers a wide variety of shoe brands and accessories with thousands of shoes for women and men in over 350 stores nationwide in addition to partnering with other national retailers.


DiscoverU is a unique approach to community-based employment and training spearheaded by JobFusion, the employment division of the Fairfield County Board of Developmental Disabilities. DiscoverU is a new concept based on the Project SEARCH model that provides a well-trained, reliable and motivated workforce for local businesses. It is a time limited, competency-based program laser targeted for individuals who want to engage in a specific line of work. DiscoverU’s first project is focused in the retail industry. Future projects will include other lines of work and trainings to serve individuals with varied skill sets. 

Each candidate applies to the nine-month training program and is accepted through a selection committee process headed by JobFusion. All candidates must be eligible for services with the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities to participate. The JobFusion team made up team leader Kathy Dennison, Runita Hayes, James Armstrong III, and Deb Walkup provide job training. Job development services are provided by the FCBDD with funding by OOD. 

Job Features of DiscoverU:

•The program is located close to employment sites

•By partnering with Project SEARCH, JobFusion follows their curriculum and consults with them as we further develop our model.

•Participants with specific skill sets are matched for retail work and apply for the program following the process established for Project SEARCH at the Fairfield Medical Center. 

•The program is limited to 8-10 participants in the first year

•The program currently has a 26-week calendar

We’ve secured a vital location at River Valley Mall with 3,000 sq.ft. that provides ample room for training, offices, and employment resources. 

Candidate Eligibility: 

•Must be at least 18 years of age and out of high school

•Will benefit from participation in a variety of internships in the customer service/retail environment

•Need to have the desire and commitment to gain competitive, independent employment by the end of the Project Search program

•Must be able to work with job coaches and supervisors

•Must be DD eligible

•Must have the ability, stamina, and mobility to perform retail work tasks

For more information about JobFusion Community Employment Services, please contact: 

Doug Mitchell, Manager, JobFusion
4465 Coonpath Road
Carroll, Ohio 43112
(740) 652-7230 - Phone
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JobFusion Employee Advisory Council

The JobFusion Work First Leadership Team (WFLT) held their first meeting on September 25, 2013 at JobFusion at the Pickerington Regional Office. The mission of the team is to be valued employees who contribute to their community and desire to lead fulfilling lives.  The vision of the team is to mentor and advocate employment for individuals with disabilities. The WFLT is comprised of eight workers with disabilities.  Susan Welliver, JobFusion Program Specialist, and Brandy Hug, JobFusion Trainer, serve as the group’s advisors.   Welliver noted that the group is involved in advocating for individuals with disabilities in a variety of ways including making presentations about the benefits of working in the community at area day habilitation centers such as the Opportunity Center.

The Fairfield DD/JobFusion Business Advisory Council (BAC) exists to assist in educating businesses in Fairfield County about the benefits of hiring employees with developmental disabilities, to provide expert business advice and council to DD/JobFusion, and to champion and advocate for Fairfield DD/JobFusion in the community-at-large.  

Specific examples of the work of the council include: 

•Keeping DD/JobFusion business minded and focused on the needs of businesses 

•Providing feedback on marketing efforts

•Act as an advocate when talking with businesses about the value of partnering with Fairfield DD/JobFusion

•Providing leads or assistance in connecting with businesses who might consider hiring an individual

•General organizational advocacy of Fairfield DD/JobFusion (who we are, what we do, why it’s important).  

Members are recruited to the BAC because of their belief in, and commitment to, supported employment, because of their leadership in the business community, and for their business expertise.

General Guidelines for the BAC: 

•The Council will consist of 11 members (10 from the community and 1 individual from JobFusion Employee Council)

•The Council will meet every other month (Jan, Mar, May, July, Sept, Nov)

•Terms will be for 3 years, with a limit of 2 consecutive terms on the Council

•Meetings will focus on BAC members assisting and guiding in employment related business issues and project in the community.


Center-Based Vocational and Employment Services

The Fairfield County Board of DD, through a joint operating agreement with Fairfield Industries, Inc., provides facility and community-based vocational training and work experiences for individuals with developmental disabilities.  Individuals employed by Fairfield Industries have the opportunity to earn a paycheck and to develop work skills.  The contracts and work opportunities provided by Fairfield Industries at the production facility located at the Opportunity Center generally consists of light assembly and packaging for many area businesses. In addition to earning a paycheck, individuals employed by Fairfield Industries work on refining work skills and reinforcing concepts related to work such as: responsibility, attendance, task completion, problem solving, social interaction, motor skill development, work hardening and safety.   For additional information about Fairfield Industries, please visit their website at: www.fairfieldindustriesohio.com.

For more information about Center-Based Vocational and Employment Services, please contact:

Brad Changet, Program Services Manager
4465 Coonpath Road
Carrol, Ohio 43112
(740) 652-7230 - Phone
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Transition Coordination

Early planning and preparation are essential for success in adulthood.   The Fairfield County Board of DD Adult Services Options Transition Coordinator is available to assist individuals, families, school programs, and support teams in planning and coordinating of school to adult life transition services.  The Fairfield County Board of DD Transition Coordinator serves as the Fairfield County project coordinator for the Ohio Rehabilitation Services grant initiative referred to as Bridges to TransitionBridges to Transition serves as a catalyst for the innovative approach known as “Discovery” as well as the futures planning process known as MAPS.  Our Transition Coordinator also facilitates the Fairfield County Transition Collaborative which is comprised of representatives from each of the Fairfield County School Districts, Fairfield County Board of DD, Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission, Fairfield County Jobs & Family Services, Social Security Administration, Southern Ohio Council for Independent Living,  service providers, families and other stakeholders who are passionate about developing best-practice in transition services for Fairfield County.  This group meets every other month at the Ohio University Lancaster Campus. The Fairfield County Transition Collaborative serves as a model for the State of Ohio.

For more information about Transition services please contact:

Susan Barnett, Transition Coordinator
4465 Coonpath Road
Carroll, Ohio 43112
(740) 652-7230
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Blue Shoe Arts

Art and Clay on Main is the home of the nationally recognized Blue Shoe Arts studio.   Blue Shoe Arts provides an opportunity for individuals served by the Fairfield County Board of DD who have expressed an interest and passion in the arts with the opportunity to express themselves through art and to develop artistic skills and talents that will enable them to create works of art that are marketable and will generate income for the artists.

For additional information about Blue Shoe Arts, please visit the website at www.blueshoearts.org, or contact:

Pamela Whiteley - Studio Coordinator
Blue Shoe Arts Studio
150 West Main Street
Lancaster, Ohio 43130
(740) 653-1755 - Phone
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