What Is Discovering Personal Genius™?
|Over the past 50 years, our commitment to staying “One Step Ahead” has lead Kaposia to evolve into a customized employment and retirement service. We provide customized employment services for people with disabilities by serving one person at a time, insisting on integrated work settings, focusing on strengths, paying no less than minimum wage, and never giving up on the expectation of progress.
We are committed to eradicating the high rates of unemployment, underemployment and the resulting poverty of Minnesotans with disabilities through our direct services and our advocacy of Employment First policies and practices throughout the state.
Our employment services result in individual jobs in the regular workforce in which the individual is paid by the employer and earns at least minimum wage. We use Discovering Personal Genius™ to craft an optimal job match consistent with the individual’s unique interests and skills relying primarily on natural workplace supports with ongoing support as needed by Kaposia.
DPG takes a holistic look at the person and their interests and skills. Traditional job development processes start with an employment goal identifying the type of job sought, usually based on the limited work experiences the person has accessed. DPG looks at the broad spectrum of the individual’s interests and strengths whether they initially seem to have relevance for the job search or not. After investing significant energy on building an understanding of the individual, DPG then identifies three vocational themes™ to explore. Themes are broader than job descriptions. Examples include, helping people, culinary, working with your hands and other open-ended descriptors. Themes are further broken down into the many types of jobs that could be included within a theme with the attempt to go beyond the most obvious possibilities. DPG then broadens its search to the vast range of options in the job market with an attempt to again look beyond what is most familiar. Lists of 20 businesses for each vocational theme are generated to force an analysis of a broad range of possibilities including niche and other businesses that might never have been considered. This search is specific to the individual and their themes.
Informational interviews are then scheduled to learn more about a specific business. Because the jobseeker and employer share a common set of interests and the individual has skills that could be a match for the business, this sets up a person-to-person interaction based on those commonalities rather than a job interview in which the employer is screening out candidates. The individual has more opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and abilities in an informational interview. Informational interviews continue until one of these interactions results in the employer creatively thinking about how they might use the jobseeker in their business often creating a new job that is a match for the jobseeker and the employer’s needs. The job is often built around the unique skills of the individual and how that individual can bring value to that business. The result is a customized job negotiated between the individual and the employer with a high rate of success. Kaposia’s retention rate for 2016 using DPG is 94%. It is our experience using DPG, that an employer does not need incentives to hire the individual. The employer has already “interviewed” the jobseeker and had an opportunity to verify their skills. Kaposia’s goal is to facilitate the relationship between the employer and employee so that it evolves into a typical employer-employee relationship increasing the capacity of the business to support the employee with a disability and to learn that employees with disabilities generally do not need more accommodations than other employees when there is a good job fit.