Customized Employment

Reprinted from PN January 2012

Process helps job candidates and employers meet their needs.

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Customized employment is a flexible process designed to personalize the employment relationship between a job candidate and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both.

It is based on an individualized match among the strengths, conditions, and interests of a job candidate and the identified business needs of an employer. Customized employment uses an individualized approach to employment planning and job development—one person at a time, one employer at a time.

It’s a universal strategy that benefits many people, including people with disabilities. The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has worked to strengthen the capacity of the nation’s work-force development system to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities through customized employment.

Customized employment will often take the form of:

(1) Task reassignment: Some of the job tasks of current workers are reassigned to a new employee. This reassignment allows the current worker to focus on the primary job responsibilities of his/her job.

Task reassignment typically takes the form of job creation, whereby a new job description is negotiated based on current, unmet workplace needs.

(2) Job carving: An existing job description is modified—containing one or more, but not all, of the tasks from the original job description.

(3) Job sharing: Two or more people share the tasks and responsibilities
of a job based on each
other’s strengths.

Less common is self-employment. This allows a person to receive assistance in the creation of an independently owned small business based on his/her strengths and dreams and the unmet needs of a local market while incorporating the individualized planning and support strategies needed for success.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy,


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