Helping Hand Center’s Employment Services team provides Vocational Training, Job Placement Services, and Employment Consultation with the goal of helping individuals with disabilities prepare for, find, and maintain jobs in the community based on their career interests and skills.

Competitive Employment Program

Helping Hand Center’s Employment Services Department works with businesses in the community to seek regular employment for adults with disabilities. Vocational Counselors and Specialists provide support to both the employer and employee throughout the hiring, training, and employment process. Staff works with individuals to develop resumes, to polish interviewing skills, assess work skills, career interests, and match individuals with an appropriate employer. The Employment Services Team accompanies clients to interviews, provides coaching for the first few weeks of employment, and continues to consult with employees on an ongoing basis to ensure success.

Supported Community Employment

Supported Community Employment takes place with a group of adults with disabilities who work onsite at a business, but are supervised and supported by Helping Hand Center staff. Employees are transported to and from the job site, where they work for an hourly wage paid by the employer, all under the guidance of a Vocational Specialist. Individuals who participate in our Supported Community Employment also take part in our Adult Day Program when not working.

Project SEARCH

Project SEARCH is an international internship program that takes place entirely in the workplace. Interns in the program participate in three 10-week internships at a jobsite while completing classroom trainings. During the program, interns work with job specialists from Helping Hand Center to seek competitive employment in the community. Interns over the age of 24 receive training at Brookfield Zoo and students graduating from high school receive training at AMITA Health LaGrange.

Teaching Together Chicago

Teaching Together Chicago is an employment program to expand job opportunities for adults with disabilities in Catholic Schools in the Chicagoland area. Through the program, schools offer 10-week internships to adults with disabilities in employment areas such as clerical, classroom assistance, maintenance, and extracurricular activities. Helping Hand Center staff partners with classroom staff to provide on-site support and job coaching to interns, with the ultimate goal of regular employment.


If you are interested in Employment Services, but aren’t quite ready for a job in the community, you might be interested in Helping Hand Center’s Empower program.