NextGen Careers Counselor – North District - (22000AM4)
The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) is seeking a dedicated, mission-driven individual to partner with young adults, ages 18-30, living with disabilities and pursuing employment goals. In the role of NextGen Counselor, this individual will be a key member of a specialty team implementing a transformational approach to Vocational Rehabilitation, known as NextGen Careers. Through Next Gen Careers eligible individuals obtain employment, advance in, or change to career ladder jobs, in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers and other industry sectors through pre-apprenticeships, apprenticeships, Job Driven trainings, and internships.
MRC is seeking applicants who can educate, engage, and support young adults in an inspiring, positive, and supportive way. The work of the NextGen Counselor is community-based. Next Gen Counselors will meet with young adults in a variety of settings that could include, but are not limited to, community-based settings, school and/or community programs, participant’s homes, health care settings, and/or in an office setting. While incumbents will typically work a standard work week; depending on the needs of participants and/or of the work required, there may be extended hours, nights, or weekends to respond to participants’ needs.
In NextGen Careers, the young adult is at the center and uses self-advocacy skills to drive their own career plans towards obtaining competitive integrated employment. The NextGen Counselor will focus on developing and enhancing young adults’ internal skills, specifically: self-capacity (confidence in their ability to perform a job), self-realization (understanding of their strengths and limitations), self-sufficiency (ability to be independent), and self-advocacy (ability to direct one’s own life).
The NextGen Counselor will contribute their specific expertise in areas of social work, vocational counseling, employment counseling, rehabilitation counseling and/or educational counseling, as part of a regionally based Integrated Resource Team (IRT). IRTs use a team approach, including counselors, peer mentors, and employment specialists, to maximize wrap around services to support the young adult. Counselors will work collaboratively with young adults to identify and provide choice, resources, and supports, moving towards young adults taking more leadership roles in developing these skills, leading to increased independence and increased success throughout their career.
The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) is a learning and participatory performance culture with an emphasis on high performance teams, individual performance/contribution/impact, and engaging in activities to promote and support a program/division/agency (e.g., committee membership, Roadmap workgroup membership, presenting at Town Halls). In addition, MRC is an agency committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and racial equity, as well as innovation, transformation, and change, and creating a culture of agility, excellence, and belonging. MRC has approximately 800 employees working in a hybrid remote and in-office environment.
**This is a grant-funded position through 6/30/2026. MRC was awarded federal funds to develop and implement NextGen Careers as part of a five-year Innovation Grant. Renewable subject to available funding. **
This position serves the North Vocational Rehabilitation District and is assigned to the Lowell and Lawrence Offices. The home office is Lowell and travel throughout the district is required.
Duties and Responsibilities (these duties are a general summary and not all inclusive):
- Serve in a key role within the Integrated Resource Team, and partner with all team members to support NextGen Career participants in their pursuit of career ladder opportunities and economic self-sufficiency.
- Develop working alliances with participants, based on mutual respect, trust, and accountability.
- Coordinate and facilitate participant’s discovery process to determine participant’s level of career self-actualization and baseline skills of self-capacity, self-realization, self-advocacy, and self-sufficiency.
- Provide coaching, counseling, and instruction to help strengthen the participant’s understanding and skill level of his/her self-capacity, self-realization, self-advocacy, and self-sufficiency.
- Facilitate the development of and any modifications to participant’s career portfolio and serve as a resource for the services that may be required for the participant to achieve his/her career goals.
- Support other members of the participant’s Integrated Resource Team to ensure the participant’s voice and choice is truly represented.
- Coordinate and facilitate relevant services and activities to positively strengthen and build participants’ career self-actualization, including but not limited to skills instruction, rehabilitation teaching, social rehabilitation orientation, etc.
- Utilize reflective learning and coaching practices in engagement with participants and team members.
- Lead skills training sessions based on the participant’s career portfolio, including but not limited to group workshops to prepare for job opportunities, and coordinate the methods and materials.
- Monitor and evaluate participant progress throughout the process and prepare notes for general information and to document and monitor changes.
- Provides coaching, counseling, and instruction throughout the NextGen Careers process in a culturally sensitive and appropriate manner based on each consumer’s unique cultural background.
- Ability to inspire young adults throughout the NextGen Careers process.
- Basic understanding of young adults, especially young adults with disabilities.
- Basic understanding of how to successfully engage and develop a working alliance.
- Knowledge of the principles and techniques of employment and career counseling.
- Knowledge of person-centered and psychosocial mentoring practices, i.e., self-capacity, self-realization, self-advocacy, and self-sufficiency.
- Ability to engage differently and to embrace new models of service.
- Ability to and experience with using a coaching approach to working with young adults.
- Ability to and experience with using reflective listening strategies when working with young adults as well as working with other team members within NextGen Careers.
- Commitment to flexibility, and “doing what it takes” to support participants.
- Experience working as part of team, with community providers, including establishing and maintaining professional working relationships.
- Ability to write clear, concise, professional reports.
- Ability to communicate effectively.
About the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
MRC provides services that break down barriers and empower people with disabilities to live life on their own terms. Our programs focus on vocational rehabilitation, community living, and disability determination for federal benefit programs. We are change agents and community builders. And we put the people we serve at the heart of everything we do. We envision a Commonwealth that is open to all, where everyone can seize their true potential and contribute fully to our communities and the world. Together with stakeholders, partners, and allies, MRC collaborates, problem solves, and innovates to bring about a better Massachusetts for everyone—one that is truly equitable, accessible, and inclusive.
A criminal background check will be completed on the recommended candidate as required by the regulations set forth by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services prior to the candidate being hired. For more information, please visit http://www.mass.gov/hhs/cori.
Education, licensure and certifications will be verified in accordance with the Human Resources Division’s Hiring Guidelines.
Education and license/certification information provided by the selected candidate(s) is subject to the Massachusetts Public Records Law and may be published on the Commonwealth’s website.
If you require assistance with the application/interview process and would like to request an ADA accommodation, please click on the link and complete the Reasonable Accommodation Online Request Form.
For questions, please contact the Executive Office of Health and Human Services Human Resources at 1-800-510-4122 and select option #2.
Applicants should submit a cover letter and resume for the NextGen Careers Counselor – North District requisition.
First consideration will be given to those applicants that apply within the first 14 days.
MINIMUM ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS:
REQUIRED WORK EXPERIENCE: At least four years of full-time, or equivalent part-time, professional experience in social work, social casework, vocational counseling, employment counseling, rehabilitation counseling, or educational counseling.
- A Bachelor's or higher degree in rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation counseling, education of the physically or emotionally handicapped, education of the multiple handicapped, education of the learning disabled, social work, psychology, human services, or counseling may be substituted for the required experience on the basis of two years of education for one year of experience.
- A Bachelor's or higher degree in a major other than rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation counseling, education of the physically or emotionally handicapped, education of the multiple handicapped, education of the learning disabled, social work, psychology, human services, or counseling may be substituted for a maximum of one year of the required experience on the basis of four years of education for one year of experience.
- A Master's or higher degree in social work, psychology, human services, rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation counseling, or counseling may be substituted for an additional year of the required experience on the basis of two years of education for one year of experience.
- Licensure as a Licensed Rehabilitation Counselor by the Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health Professionals or Certification as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification may be substituted for the required experience.
- One year of education equals 30 semester hours. Education toward a degree will be prorated on the basis of the proportion of the requirements actually completed.
When you embark on a career with the Commonwealth, you are offered an outstanding suite of employee benefits that add to the overall value of your compensation package. We take pride in providing a work experience that supports you, your loved ones, and your future.
Want the specifics? Explore our Employee Benefits and Rewards!
Executive Order #595: As a condition of employment, successful applicants will be required to have received COVID-19 vaccination or an approved exemption as of their start date. Details relating to demonstrating compliance with this requirement will be provided to applicants selected for employment. Applicants who receive an offer of employment who can provide documentation that the vaccine is medically contraindicated or who object to vaccination due to a sincerely held religious belief may make a request for exemption.
An Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer. Females, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.
The Commonwealth is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, national origin, veteran status, or any other basis covered by appropriate law. Research suggests that qualified women, Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color (BIPOC) may self-select out of opportunities if they don't meet 100% of the job requirements. We encourage individuals who believe they have the skills necessary to thrive to apply for this role.
Official Title: Rehabilitation Counselor (C)
Primary Location: United States-Massachusetts-Lowell - 55 Technology Drive
Job: Community and Social Services
Agency: Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
Job Posting: Sep 20, 2022, 1:57:19 PM
Number of Openings: 1
Salary: 60,997.04 - 82,871.36 Yearly
If you have Diversity, Affirmative Action or Equal Employment Opportunity questions or need a Reasonable Accommodation, please contact Diversity Officer / ADA Coordinator: Robert Arnau, Robert.D.Arnau@mass.gov - 8572758824
Bargaining Unit: 08-SEIU - Local 509 - Social/Rehabilitation
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