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Thurston County

Thurston Placement

Staff: 31 approximately (Employment Consultants)
Program Managers: Shawna Harper & Britni Miles

Program Manager Job Development: Laurie Schindler
Services Offered: Pre-Employment Transition Services, Discovery, Independent Living Services, Community Based Assessments, Job Placement, Intensive Training/Job Retention, Long Term Follow-Along Support, Transition Services; Job Club & Project SEARCH: TESC

Program Description

Our Thurston Placement Program is the most highly “enrolled” program in our agency and the most robust. Starting in 1964 as a Sheltered Workshop and transitioning to an agency that provides Employment Services, we have evolved to having some of the best outcomes for people with disabilities working in the State of Washington. By 1983, we placed over 100 clients in jobs in the Thurston County community. We receive consistent referrals from both DVR/DDA each month, exceed placement outcomes each year and provide exceptional, quality services to clients in our community on a regular basis. We are proud to have transitioned all individuals from Group Supported Employment into our Individual Supported Employment program as of April, 2015 and no longer pay clients sub-minimum wages. Our Transition program commenced in 1992 and has been recognized nationally for responding to local need and the unique collaboration between school districts, the County and the state of Washington. In 2009, we started a partnership between Olympia School District, The Evergreen State College and Morningside and founded Project SEARCH, a unique vocational training/education program for high school students. On average, there are 300-450 participants in our Thurston program.

To learn more about our Thurston County office or make a referral, call us at (360)943-0512 or email us.

Thurston Creative Employment Program

Staff: 9 (Employment Consultants)
Program Manager: Mark Moffett
Services Offered: Discovery, Independent Living Services, Community Based Assessments, Job Placement, Intensive Training/Job Retention, Long Term Follow-Along Support

Program Description

The Creative Employment Program works with the state’s Community Protection Program which is a voluntary program intended to provide a structured, therapeutic environment for persons with community protection issues. We are one of the only service providers in Thurston County to assist individuals who require extensive support to work safely in their communities. Morningside has been providing these services longer than any vendor in our state. Washington state started routing waiver funding (through DDA & Counties) coded as “Community Protection” in the year 2000. We refer to these individuals as being enrolled in our Creative program (whom we started serving as early as 1993) because we recognized their success can be evident, with a more creative approach.  These individuals have offended or have exhibited behaviors with the possibility of offending. This program allows the participants to live safely and successfully in the community without offending while minimizing the risk to public safety. Individuals in this program are monitored 24 hours a day to participate successfully in their community.  Employment is part of their rehabilitation, and Morningside’s Creative Employment Program is designed to help rehabilitate this group.  The program is guided by a Treatment Team responsible for the development, implementation, and monitoring of the person’s individualized supports and services.  The team consists of a case resource manager, therapist, residential provider, employment program provider, and the person, with their legal representative and/or family.  The team sets the goals for the treatment plan written and guided by a qualified professional therapist. We have a job developer dedicated to providing outreach to our community employers, who assist individuals with disclosing information to ensure safety. Our Program Manager or designee participates in Treatment Team meetings for each individual where we discuss efforts to reduce supervision and restriction of rights, termed “reductions” and advocate for client rights in every possible approach. The Program Manager or designee works collaboratively with the Treatment team to identify employment settings that assist clients in reaching success and helping them to be as independent as possible. We are proud of the progress clients make in our Creative program. As of 2015, we have helped multiple individuals to “graduate” and enroll in Individual Supported Employment. On average, we assist 30-40 clients in Creative Employment Thurston.