The employment of people with disabilities is directly related to how much the business community understands about the skills and abilities of people with disabilities, their ability to perform a specific job, and the accommodations that might be needed to perform the essential job functions.
DARS Business Services enhances employment opportunities for consumers by sharing information about DARS and its consumers with businesses.
Alternate business account manager-the alternate DARS staff person working with a business
Business account manager-a DARS staff person working with a business
Business log-located in the Business Tracking Tool, the business log is a description of all services DARS has provided and future plans with the business
Business relations coordinator-a regional staff member who works with businesses to increase their awareness of the skills and abilities of people with disabilities
Business Relations Team-a team of regional and central office staff members who work with the business community
Business service deliverables-specific services provided to business customers by DARS staff members. These services include 1) outreach and disability awareness, 2) consultation, resource information, and support, 3) job placement and retention, and 4) DARS internal staff training and regional analysis.
Business Tracking Tool-a Salesforce platform that is being used statewide by staff members who have been granted a license through their regional office to develop, retain, and measure DARS partnerships with business;
Community partners-partnerships with community organizations and businesses that have goals in common
Lead-a business contact you have made but for whom you have not yet provided any business service deliverables
National employment team (NET)-the national network of 80 public vocational rehabilitation programs that work to provide a united approach to working with business customers
Office of Federal Contractors and Compliance-for the benefit of jobseekers and wage earners, this office enforces the contractual promise of affirmative action and equal opportunity requirements of those who do business with federal government
Regional Outreach and Service Coordination Teams-regional teams that assist the business relations coordinator in providing services to DARS business and community partners
Texas Workforce Development Boards-the 28 boards in Texas that are responsible for the local use of Workforce Investment funds, oversight of the service delivery system at the Texas Workforce Solution offices, and the coordination of activities with economic development entities and employers in their local areas
The DARS Business Relations Team is responsible for and carries out all DARS business services. Business services include outreach, consultation, technical assistance, and training to support job placement and job retention of individuals with disabilities. Members of the DARS Business Relations Team include business relations program specialists, business relations coordinators, and outreach service and coordination teams.
A DARS central office program specialist from both the Division for Blind Services (DBS) and the Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS) coordinates activities of the DARS Business Relations Team.
The DARS Business Relations Team program specialists:
DARS business relations coordinators (BRCs) work through DARS regional management to connect with local business communities to learn about labor market trends and share general information about DARS consumers. Before giving information about a consumer to a business, BRCs must ensure that there is a current DARS1517-2, Authorization for Release of Confidential Consumer Records and Information, in the consumer's case file. BRCs work with regional management to develop Outreach Services and Coordination Teams across Texas to support DARS Business Services.
BRCs are responsible for:
The regional Outreach Services and Coordination (OSC) teams will be the primary points of contact in developing business partnerships on the local and regional levels. OSC teams are established at the unit, field, and regional levels by the business relations coordinators (BRCs). These teams can include managers, counselors, and other DARS staff members that work directly with businesses in their communities to enhance employment opportunities for consumers. OSC teams identify, implement, and monitor the progress of business outreach activities across DARS regions, and disseminate this information to the BRCs to develop a comprehensive statewide network for business relations.
DARS regional OSC teams also work in partnership with businesses to:
All DARS staff members have a role in cultivating relationships with business.
Regional management and program specialists:
Area managers and field directors:
Field staff members:
To better understand the local labor market and the availability of DARS consumers for potential job placement, BRCs conduct market analyses, which include:
Training opportunities are available to DARS staff members who provide DARS business services to increase the staff members' knowledge, awareness, and understanding of the program. The training helps them learn how to develop effective business relations, conduct outreach and marketing activities, and recommend appropriate accommodations for consumers. Training is conducted by DARS business relations coordinators and includes:
DARS staff members who have been granted a license use the Business Tracking Tool to enter data in order to track and maintain business partnerships and create reports. Through the Business Tracking Tool, DARS staff members can:
The Business Tracking Tool serves two purposes with respect to tracking business leads. By using the Lead tab, staff members have an opportunity to research the person and the business whose contact information has been obtained. In addition, staff members with access to the business tracking tool can stay informed about the names of the businesses and the contacts within the business with whom a face-to-face contact is being planned so that duplicate contacts can be avoided.
This allows time to create a plan to generate interest in DARS and to invite the lead to meet face-to-face.
You must have a license to access the Business Tracking Tool. To request a license, regional directors must contact the DARS Salesforce system administrator in the central office.
DARS staff members who are given a license to access the Business Tracking Tool will be responsible for ensuring that local business partnerships are documented correctly in the system. Data that must be entered into the Business Tracking Tool are listed below.
Alternate business account manager--This is where the name of the unlicensed person who may be managing the account appears. This field must be completed if there is no entry in the business account manager field.
Business account manager--This field can contain only the name of a licensed Business Tracking Tool user. If a DARS staff member is a licensed user, he or she will have a login and password for the Business Tracking Tool. If a DARS staff member other than a licensed user is managing the account, the licensed user leaves this field blank, and enter that DARS staff member's name in the Alternate Business Account Manager field.
Business information--Enter the business name along with other pertinent information on the business entry page.
Business log--The business entry must have a business log explaining what took place with the contact and what the next steps will be in providing deliverables and in maintaining the relationship. If the service or information being documented in the business log involved another DARS staff member, add that name to the business log by selecting the "Team Member" button and entering the name.
Contact information--Each business added must contain a valid contact within the business. This information is added in the Contacts tab.
Deliverable provided--If a business relationship is entered into the Business Tracking Tool, there should be a minimum of one business service deliverable provided to that business. Other business service deliverables should be added as the relationship grows.
Federal contractor--If the staff member is working with a federal contractor, select "federal contractor" in from the drop-down list. Use the website, www.fedspending.org, to verify federal contractor status. This is the website used by the Office of Federal Contractors and Compliance Program when conducting reviews.
Lead-A lead is the same as collecting a business card from someone that a staff member recently met or that the staff member collected from a networking event. At this point, the staff member is interested in the person or business named on the card but does not know whether they are interested in working with DARS. After a face-to-face meeting has been scheduled, the lead can be converted to a contact, also known as a business.
Texas Workforce Solutions Office-If the staff is working with a business in partnership with a local Workforce Solutions office, check the Workforce Solutions Office box and identify which board you are working with in the list provided.
Those who do not have access to the Business Tracking Tool can enter information into an accessible spreadsheet on the DARS Business Services page. Once the information is entered and saved, it will automatically upload into the Business Tracking Tool. For regular updates and changes, the unlicensed user must work with a licensed user.
Several reports are available through the Business Tracking Tool. These reports capture data regarding business partnership development that assist DARS in tracking quality assurance and in monitoring the progress of business partnership development. The reports also are used to inform DARS internal management and other stakeholders about business partnership development in addition to expanding the number of business partnerships that DARS creates.
These reports are in the Business Tracking Tool. In the "Reports" tab, select the "All Folders" dropdown, then select "Unfiled Public Reports" to see a complete listing. To request additional reports, or to schedule a tutorial on how to create reports, contact the DARS Salesforce system administrator in the central office.
For DARS consumers to gain competitive, integrated employment, DARS counselors must understand the labor market and the needs and expectations of business. This understanding is critical to the vocational planning process; it helps DARS and its consumers build good plans in order to achieve high-quality employment outcomes.
Before contacting a business:
When working with a business, remember that:
DARS provides key services to businesses and uses other partners to streamline and enhance those services.
The 28 Workforce Development Boards and 191 Workforce Solutions (WFS) offices in Texas offer a single point of contact for both the business community and those seeking employment. Services provided by WFS boards and offices include:
Each DARS office should have a staff member assigned to its local WFS office to ensure that the DARS and WFS staffs are aware of the services offered by each other. DARS and WFS staff members should partner to expand training and opportunities for DARS consumers and Workforce Solutions business partners. DARS staff members should also have DARS consumers register with Work in Texas, which is a database that matches job seekers to jobs posted by business partnerships.
A service record must be created for all referrals to Texas Workforce Solutions offices. When creating a service record, use "arranged" as the payment method.
Select the following specifications in ReHabWorks to create a service record for referrals:
Do not generate a service authorization for Texas Workforce Solution referrals.
In addition to the DARS Business Relations Team, the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) is working with businesses and state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies to develop a national VR business network. The vision is the creation of a coordinated approach to serving business customers through a national VR network that specializes in employer development, business consulting, and corporate relations. The DARS Business Relations Team program specialists are the points of contact for the National Employment Team (NET). They pass along job leads and information to the regional business relations coordinators.
For additional information refer to the CSAVR Business Relations page.