1. Next Step
  2. About Us

About Us

Our Purpose

The goal of Next Step Vocational Training and Transition Center is to give individuals with ASD, executive functioning disorders, and learning disabilities an opportunity to thrive in the workplace by providing a specialized vocational training/placement program. This program will partner with area businesses and provide competent, job-ready employees who have the necessary skills for competitive employment and job retention.

Next Step™ will serve young adults ages 18 through 25, who have graduated from high school with either a diploma or a certificate of completion.


Find out if you qualify

Individuals with ASD and executive functioning issues are among those within the disability community least likely to be employed (Dew & Alan, 2007; Cameto, et al., 2003); according to Cameto, et al., (2003), only 15 percent of persons with autism are employed. Although a number of external factors, from market trends to employer discrimination, can impact employment outcomes (Hernandez, et al., 2006), employment outcomes can be improved by addressing specific behaviors common among people with ASD.


Employed ASD Adults

32.5% of young adults with autism spectrum disorders currently work for pay versus an average of 59.0% for all respondents. Only one disability group had a lower rate of employment participation.

Source: www.nlts2.org

Seeking Employment

Only 29.0% of unemployed young adults with autism spectrum disorders were reported to be actively looking for work.

Source: www.nlts2.org

Job Retention

And only 47.7% of youth with autism spectrum disorders were able to hold the same job for longer than 2 years. (According to a 2010 Survey (Kessler Foundation/NOD,))

Source: www.nlts2.org

  •   Vocational Rehabilitation
  •   Certified VR Specialists
  •   Reinforcement
  •   Continued Support
  •   Research
Vocational rehabilitation counselors’ involvement with public schools often does not begin until the student with disabilities graduates.
Few VR counselors have training or experience in working with people with ASD, executive functioning disorders, and specific learning disabilities in regards to their unique challenges in obtaining meaningful employment and remaining employed. Vocational rehabilitation services are oriented around seeking successful closure as efficiently, effectively, and quickly as possible.
A client with ASD, executive functioning disorders, etc., however, often needs long-term support without which employment placements would be lost. There is a severe shortage of agencies that provide specialized services for young adults with ASD, executive functioning disorders, and learning disabilities.
Few supported employment job coaches have the specialized knowledge and skills needed to effectively support persons with ASD in employment settings and to work as a liaison between the employee/employer when accommodations are needed.
Research information describing best practices for facilitating the employment of persons with ASD, etc. is extremely limited.