Supported Employment

A good business decision for employers;
an empowering personal decision for individuals

In some communities, The Arc of North Carolina provides innovative employment services for adults with significant disabilities. "Supported Employment" is a process involving:

  • Assessment - getting to know a person and finding out about their interests, abilities, and the things they need help with,
  • Planning - a person-centered approach to developing work-related goals and strategies to secure the right job match and promote success in that job,
  • Job Development - a tailored approach to finding the right job match for each person, and for assisting businesses in securing valuable employees,
  • Job Coaching - assistance for the new employee in learning their job while on the job, and assistance for the business in learning how to manage their new employee,
  • Long-term Support - ongoing follow-up with the employee and employer to promote and ensure continued success.

At The Arc, each of these steps in the process of Supported Employment is provided by a trained Employment Specialist who serves as the expert in matching the right person to the right job and providing individualized supports that lead to success. The Arc also offers benefits counseling and planning for people going to work, and self-employment options for people who want to build and run their own business.

Nationally, the Supported Employment movement began in the 1980s as an avenue to help people move from sheltered work environments to "real work in the real world for real pay." Over 150,000 people with significant disabilities have gone to work in real jobs, but national unemployment rates for people with disabilities still range from 70% to 80%. A North Carolina study determined that 95% of adults with developmental disabilities surveyed in the state say they want to work in real jobs.

Supported Employment offers advantages for employers too, including:

  • Dedicated and loyal employees
  • Reduced turnover rates
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Pre-screening of job candidates
  • Access to an untapped and underutilized labor pool
  • Savings on advertising, hiring, and training expenses
  • Individualized training at no expense
  • Ongoing support and follow-up
  • Assistance with Equal Opportunities employment practices and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) issues
  • Tax credits, in most instances
  • Most importantly, businesses get capable employees through The Arc's Employment Services.

The Arc sees every person with a disability as a potential employee. In fact, Supported Employment, as defined at the federal level, is designed as a service reserved for people with the most severe disabilities.

We believe everyone can work and it is up to us to make the right job match that will promote employment success for each person. Our Employment Services have supported hundreds of individuals with significant disabilities in becoming successfully employed, productive members of our communities.

Employment Services are currently available in New Hanover, Pender, and Brunswick Counties.

What a difference a job makes!

For more information on The Arc of North Carolina's Employment Services contact:

Regina Johnson, Assistant Director of Community Supports
5041 New Centre Drive, Suite 100
Wilmington, NC 28403
(910) 791-9022 or 1-866-499-0568
(910) 791-0148



Kari Kopp
22 Garfield St
Asheville, NC 28803
(828) 254-0584

Our website is under construction and a new one will be coming soon!