Thomas Jefferson UniversityJefferson School of Health Professions

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Health, Community & Participation

Career Support & Work Skill Development

Emerging Practice Area—Ex-Offenders; Work Rehabilitation; Mental Health and Wellness; Qualitative Inquiry (Baker Industries) September 2012-Present
Tina De Angelis, EdD, OTR/L

Baker Industries is a unique 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that promotes a work rehabilitation program employing an overlooked and underutilized workforce population. The program focuses specifically on four groups of vulnerable adults: people with physical and mental health disabilities, recovering substance abusers, individuals on parole, and homeless persons, and give them all the opportunity to learn the importance of a solid work ethic in a real work environment. The discipline, skills and experiences they gain from this program brings them one step closer to leading more independent and productive lives. Yet at the end of the day, the greatest force that supports this transition is the work that is contracted by companies from all over the United States. (www.bakerindustries.org). Thomas Jefferson University occupational therapy faculty and students collaborate to provide evidence-based, client-centered outcomes focused programs in the area of health and wellness, leisure, money management, assertiveness training, medication management, stress management and workplace/computer training skill development. Occupational therapy is provided through 1:1 treatment as well as group based sessions.

Federation of Neighborhood Centers: The Career Support Network. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Local Funding Partnerships. July 2011– June 2014
PI: James Plumb, MD 
Co Investigators: Rickie Brawer, PhD, Stephen B. Kern, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Robert Walsh, MS, OTR/L

Description of Program of Research The Career Support Network (CSN) helps newly employed vulnerable adults succeed in realizing long-term careers and healthy lifestyles by helping them overcome barriers to employment and addressing a workforce development gap. CSN builds supports and skills needed for low skilled adults to obtain and sustain employment through creating an integrated center that weaves together occupational counseling, job training, peer support, and mental and physical health services.