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Career Services

Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES) 

Program Summary

Open Sky Career Services is a wrap-around service model that includes active participation in high level collaboration, coordination and communication with all partners serving those receiving supports through CIES, which is funded by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA).  We ensure that all resources are leveraged in order to assist all adults with disabilities to maximize their economic self-sufficiency through reaching employment goals. 


Open Sky has been known as a leader in providing Individual Placement and Support (IPS) services for over 10 years, so when developing our approach in implementing the CIES model, we have used the principles of IPS as the foundation where appropriate including:

  1. zero exclusion;

  2. honoring job seeker preference in the type of job, supports provided, and disclosure;

  3. integrating all members of the job seeker’s team;

  4. competitive employment in integrated settings with equal pay;

  5. benefits planning counseling;

  6. rapid job search; and

  7. provision of follow-along supports

In any instances where IPS and CIES don’t align, we adhere to the CIES model.  In addition, through our affiliation with Boston University we piloted and adopted the “choose, get, keep” approach to rehabilitation; a model that mirrors CIES core principles as it assists individuals to set and achieve goals like CIES. We are flexible in engaging job seekers in the CIES components that are relevant to their needs and goals, recognizing that services must be tailored to match the job seeker.

Goal: To assist adults with disabilities to obtain and maintain competitive employment that matches their skills, preferences and interests. This can include partnership and collaboration with employers (when job seeker agrees to disclosure) to ensure better communication, support and accommodation to improve job placement success.

Service Description

Career Services provides the following types of services, which are based upon components of the CIES model:

Career Exploration – Career Counselor assists the job seeker with exploring and articulating initial employment goals through completion of interest and skills assessments, review of results and further exploration of possible career paths based on assessment results.

Employment-Based Skills Training Career Counselor engages the job seeker in review of training curriculum and application of employment-based skills activities, which will help the job seeker to develop desirable and essential skills for employment.

Job Development and Placement Career Counselor helps the job seeker prepare for job search by completing a Career Plan, resume and Checklist for Employment Supports, engaging in job search activities, exploring transportation options, preparing for interviews, navigating the interview and onboarding process, and, upon starting the job, providing supports to help the individual maintain the job for 1 month. This component is completed when the job seeker has obtained and maintained competitive employment for 30 days. 

Initial Employment Supports – Career Counselor provides follow along supports to the individual to help him/her maintain employment from day 31 of employment through day 90 of employment, thus becoming a Successful Employment Outcome (SEO).

Ongoing Supports – Allows the Career Counselor to provide hourly supports to help the individual to maintains stable employment from day 91 and beyond. Employment supports can be provided on or off the job setting.

Interim flexible Supports – Allows the Career Counselor to provide hourly flexible supports (including Job Coaching) necessary to assist a job seeker who does not require full participation in another component. This can involve supports when the individual needs hourly flexible supports for a temporary period of time, such as a short-term training or a seasonal job.


To be eligible for Career Services, the individual must

  • Have a goal of finding employment

  • Be at least 16 years old and eligible to work in the U.S.

  • Have a documented disability

  • Be income eligible. If they have no income or are receiving SSI/SSDI, they qualify. If under age 24 and claimed on parents’ tax return, parental income is considered.

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