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j. 2. Identify the need to establish, develop, or improve community rehabilitation programs within the State; and

Current Narrative:

BRS entered into contracts with 47 VR Employment Service Providers for Establishment projects in April 2017 to improve capacity for the provision of quality employment services, including supported employment. The objective of the project is to enhance employment service provider staffing resources and training, with an emphasis on foundational, hands-on skills training. Establishment projects are anticipated to continue for a four-year period, ending March 2021. Data from the first two years of the project has been reviewed and indicates very positive trends in the provision of supported employment, employment outcomes and retention, average wages and weekly work hours, and foundational skills training for employment services staff.

While current establishment projects will end in March, 2021, VR is exploring other targeted needs related to the establishment, development or improvement of CRPs, which may include increasing capacity and skills needed to successfully serve VR participants with mental health disabilities or VR participants who are working to transition from sub-minimum wage employment to competitive, integrated employment. The needs for these populations or others will be further explored in 2020.