Implementation Guides

Paid work experiences such as pre-apprenticeships, apprenticeships, and internships can lead to increased numbers of individuals with disabilities who meet the demand for rapidly expanding career fields while earning higher wages. For job seekers who face barriers to employment, vocational rehabilitation (VR) can offer paid work experiences that lead to education and credential attainment to better meet business needs.

Through candidate identification and preparation, marketing and outreach, pipeline development, and developing partnerships VR can position itself as a source of talent that meets the needs of employers. Developing a VR talent pool nationwide is key to helping more individuals with disabilities achieve better employment and earnings outcomes through paid work experience programs. The following implementation guides are created to help VR agency staff prepare, maintain, and sustain successful paid internship, pre-apprenticeship and/ or apprenticeship programs:


Developing a VR Pipeline for Paid Work Experience Programs

This implementation guide explains how VR can use job-driven practices to prepare candidates for successful paid work experiences. For job seekers who face barriers to employment, vocational rehabilitation (VR) can offer paid work experiences that lead to education and credential attainment to better meet business needs.

The Step-by-Step Apprenticeship Implementation guide outlines key steps for VR agencies to consider when developing paid work experience programs. It guides the process of developing paid work experience programs by expanding on the following steps: Definition of your Apprenticeship program, Assessment of Current Labor Market Trends, Building of a team, Evaluation of the System’s Current State, Development of strategy, Implementation of Your Program, Evaluation of Progress, and Measurement of Results, and Improvements.

Pre-Apprenticeship Programs: A Model for Skill Enhancement with Strong Employment Connections

This fact sheet provides an overview of pre-apprenticeship programs, including pre-apprenticeship competencies and their connection with registered apprenticeships programs. To learn more, view the webinar


Building Blocks of Registered Apprenticeships

This guide provides information about Registered Apprenticeships (RA) and the various aspects of their implementation. The key learning objectives include: components of RA, RA models that meet the needs of people with disabilities, challenges of RA implementation, replication of RA programs, and the role VR agencies can play in RA programs. To learn more, view the webinar


Key First Steps for Connecting with Registered Apprenticeship Programs

This implementation guide offers a set of procedural phases and resources for connecting with registered apprenticeship programs at the state and federal level. To learn more, view the webinar


How to Measure and Show the Success of Paid Work Experience Programs

This spreadsheet is a customizable template to measure paid work experience program outcomes. It includes various measurement factors (i.e. Performance indicator, Target, Outcome, Timeline, and Narrative summaries of performances per each indicator) in relation to VR programs and their impact in education; in partnerships with local businesses and others; with apprentices/workers; and in society.


Apprenticeship Joint Collaboration with State Labor & Industry Office of Registered Apprenticeships: Pennsylvania VR

This implementation guide provides a step-by-step practical outline for connecting Vocational Rehabilitation agencies with apprenticeship programs at the state level.


VR Guidelines for Registering Apprenticeships through State Apprenticeship Offices: Pennsylvania VR

This informational guide describes the main components and benefits of RA programs, provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.


Ticket to Work: Options for Apprenticeships and Internships

This document provides an overview of the Ticket to Work program and how it can be used to help SSI and SSDI clients receive assistance to find employment. 


Inclusive Apprenticeships as a Workforce Strategy

This webinar presented by the US Department of Labor provides an overview of the value of apprenticeships to VR agencies, identifies benefits of apprenticeships for people with disabilities and employers, and identifies strategies to increase the pipeline of apprenticeship candidates and leveraging resources.