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d. 2. I. ii. Plan for Recruitment, Preparation and Retention of Qualified Personnel

Describe the development and implementation of a plan to address the current and projected needs for qualified personnel including, the coordination and facilitation of efforts between the designated State unit and institutions of higher education and professional associations to recruit, prepare, and retain personnel who are qualified, including personnel from minority backgrounds and personnel who are individuals with disabilities.

Current Narrative:

IDVR will continue to recruit qualified staff from the U of I and other regional and national institutions of higher education. We maintain contact with Auburn University, Hofstra University, Montana State University, New Mexico Highlands University, Portland State University, San Diego State University, University of Arizona, University of Kentucky, University of North Texas, University of Northern Colorado, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, University of Wisconsin - Stout, Utah State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, West Virginia University, and Western Washington University. Management staff also attends the Fall and Spring National Council on Rehabilitation Education (NCRE) conferences.

IDVR will provide feedback to U of I’s RCE department chair and dean on existing and future staffing needs, including individuals with disabilities as well as those from minority backgrounds.

When possible, IDVR supports unpaid internships for Masters level students in Rehabilitation or related fields. During FFYs 2016 and 2017 four unpaid and three paid interns were supported. The Agency anticipates continuing this relationship.

IDVR continues to face challenges in recruiting qualified applicants. The entry-level wage for a QRP is lower than comparable state and private positions. IDVR has begun to address and implement a more competitive wage for QRP’s and classified personnel. IDVR will continue to build a compensation package which will be competitive with other states and agencies contingent upon available funding.

All Regional Managers, Central Office Management and other leadership personnel are involved in recruitment activities. Development of recruitment and marketing plans continue to be a priority for the Division.

IDVR participates in Career Fairs around the state to encourage and seek out individuals from diverse backgrounds including individuals with disabilities and from minority backgrounds.

IDVR conducts exit interviews with staff, when possible, to determine whether there are areas of concern affecting staff retention that need to be addressed. The current trend suggests counselors are moving on to positions which do not require a Master’s degree and pay approximately $2.30 more per hour.

IDVR is committed to recruiting and hiring qualified personnel who are individuals with disabilities and/or from minority backgrounds. The Agency has a long history of recruiting, hiring and retaining such individuals.

For PY 2016 the turnover rate for QRP’s was 16.07%. The Agency will continue to conduct staff surveys every two years for all employees. Results will be compiled and reviewed to identify specific areas to enhance retention efforts.