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Blog: 6 of the Best Employee Benefits at The Arc

Congratulations, you did it! You found a job that provides meaningful work, fits your skillsets, and aligns with your values. If you are still hesitant to accept, one thing that may seal the deal is the employee benefits package! Employee benefits packages contain the additional perks a company provides on top of the wages they pay you. It’s important to examine what your potential employer offers because these benefits can provide support to your health and well-being, family, financial security, and more!

Here at The Arc Carroll County, we value each employee and work hard to take care of them. One way we do that is by providing excellent employee benefits! According to TeamStage, a large management software company, about 49% of employees seek new career options because of confusion and/or dissatisfaction with their company’s benefits package.1 This is why we work hard to provide our employees with the support they need to feel secure and thrive in life. Read below to learn about a few of the employee benefits and perks you can gain from choosing a career at The Arc!

6 Employment Benefits and Perks of Working at The Arc 

  1. Medical Insurance, Prescription Drug Coverage, Dental and Vision Coverage 

According to indeed.com, one of the top things people consider when choosing a job is if their health and wellness needs will be met.2 We realize that employees need to be healthy in order to succeed and thrive in their careers. The Arc offers our full-time employees medical insurance, prescription drug coverage, and dental and vision coverage.

  1. Retirement Saving Plan 

Another unique employee benefit we offer is a 403(b) retirement plan for team members. A 403(b) is a plan reserved for tax-exempt organizations that allow employees to put a portion of their wages into an investment account. Employers can also contribute to this account.3 Saving for the future is important, and we want to help you reach your retirement goals!

  1. Paid Training

One of the best employee benefits that The Arc offers is paid training for our staff members. Many of our positions are entry-level and do not require prior experience. If you are the right candidate, we will pay you to learn all the skills needed to succeed in your career. This is a great opportunity to grow your knowledge base and get compensated for your hard work!

  1. Paid Holidays, Vacation, Sick time

Work hard, play hard! Time off is crucial to employee satisfaction. For our full-time employees, we offer generous paid time off to help our staff members achieve a better work-life balance. Full-time employees also receive PTO for the holidays listed below:

Labor Day, Martin Luther King’s Birthday, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Independence Day.

Full-time and part-time employees also accrue paid sick time.

  1. Tuition Reimbursement

Here at The Arc, we believe in the power of education and encourage our employees to pursue their academic goals. The Arc will reimburse a portion of an employee’s tuition when certain criteria are met. We highly encourage employees to take courses that will further their professional development and help them excel in their position. Gaining additional career-related education is also an excellent way to advance in the organization.

  1. Opportunity to Participate in the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) Certification

NADSP provides top-notch training that will allow you to learn and apply best practices as a direct support professional. NADSP certification will give you the confidence and skills you need to provide excellent care for the individuals you serve. Learn more about NADSP certification at https://nadsp.org/services/certification/.

At The Arc Carroll County, we recognize the worth and value of every employee. We want you to feel seen and appreciated for your commitment to excellence. The employee benefits package is just one of the many ways we take care of our employees.

To pursue a career at The Arc Carroll County, visit www.arccarroll.org/employment. We’d love for you to join our team!

Citations

1https://teamstage.io/employee-benefits-statistics/#:~:text=Employee%20benefits%20statistics%20show%20some,time%2C%20and%20working%20from%20home

2https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/needs-of-employees

3https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/irc-403b-tax-sheltered-annuity-plans#:~:text=A%20403(b)%20plan%20

Blog: How you can become a Direct Support Professional

How You Can Become a Direct Support Professional 

Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”

If you are looking for a career that has purpose and helps others, you’ve come to the right place! Direct support professionals (DSPs) play a crucial role in helping individuals live life to the fullest. Becoming a direct support professional is not only a great opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of others, but it is also a viable career option that is in high demand today. Learn more about what a career as a DSP could look like by reading below! 

What is a Direct Support Professional (DSP)? 

A direct support professional provides one-on-one support for people who have intellectual or developmental disabilities. By providing direct services and assistance, a DSP helps individuals reach their full potential. DSPs perform their duties in such a way that pushes these individuals to live more independently and achieve their goals. Some responsibilities of a DSP include but are not limited to: teaching life skills, supporting job exploration, providing hygiene assistance, helping with transportation, meal preparation, and more! 

Job Outlook for Direct Support Professionals

Direct support professionals are highly valued and needed. You can be sure this career isn’t going anywhere, in fact, it’s projected to grow over the next few years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts that between 2020 and 2030, employment for home health and personal care employees will grow by 33%!1 This growth is significantly higher than that of other occupations. The Covid-19 pandemic also revealed just how much we need direct support professionals. DSPs help individuals with disabilities obtain the services, opportunities, and connections they need to thrive and live a more independent lifestyle. When people were sick or couldn’t work during the pandemic, many disabled individuals were left without the support and assistance they needed, seriously impacting their quality of life. In a tweet shared during the pandemic, the Governor of New Jersey exclaimed that DPSs are essential workers and a crucial part of the emergency response team to the Covid-19 crisis.2

A Highly Rewarding Career 

You may not hear a DSP say that their job is easy, but many will share that helping individuals with disabilities can be very rewarding and meaningful work. A former DSP from The Arc of Caroll County shared, “A day at work was like a day at home with your best friend. You become close to your client and help in every way possible to make them happy and comfortable. The hardest part is seeing them sick or in pain, but I loved making them smile.” When you become a DSP, you make a direct deposit into someone else’s life. Being shown a little love and kindness can go an extraordinarily long way.

What are the Skills of a Direct Support Professional?  

The Arc requires that a potential DSP employee has a high school diploma or GED in order to be considered for the job, but there is no formal education necessary. The Arc provides on-the-job training that will equip you with everything you need to succeed and support the individuals you serve. Our employees can get certified through the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP), an organization committed to partnering with, supporting, and empowering people with disabilities to lead a life of their choosing.3 

Below are just a few of the many skills you can expect to learn through the NADSP training! 

  • How to navigate ethical dilemmas using the NADSP Code of Ethics 
  • Strategies for effectively communicating with your client 
  • How to empower your client to be assertive and make decisions 
  • How to assess and respond to the needs of your client 
  • Ways to assist your client in connecting with the community 
  • How to help your client pursue educational and vocational resources/opportunities 
  • How to prevent and monitor crisis situations 
  • Ways to support your client in building and maintaining healthy relationships with others 
  • How to assist your client in completing personal care activities 

To learn more about what you can expect from NADSP training and certification, visit https://nadsp.org/services/certification/

Now you may be reading this and thinking, “Wow, that’s a lot to learn. I don’t know if I can do it.” The truth is, if you have a desire to help those in need and are willing to use the talents you already possess to make a difference, you are well on your way to becoming a successful direct support professional. The rest of the skills come with learning and practice, which you are more than capable of! 

If you think that becoming a DSP could be the right career for you, click here to apply for a position at The Arc of Carrol County! If you are in need of more information or have questions about what it looks like to work as a DSP, feel free to contact us at https://arccarroll.org/contact/. We look forward to hearing from you! 

Citations 

1https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home-health-aides-and-personal-care-aides.htm 

2https://www.forbes.com/sites/denisebrodey/2020/04/09/how-these-relatively-unknown-covid-19-workers-affect-millions-in-a-crisis/?sh=245a14667c28 

3https://nadsp.org/about-us/ 

 

Blog: Is a Career in Human Services the Right Path for You?

Is a Career in Human Services the Right Path for You?

Do you have a deep desire to help those in need? Have you been told that you’re a good listener? Do you often strive to see from another person’s point of view? Are you a good communicator? Does bonding with others come easily to you? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, a career in human services may be a perfect fit for you! Participating in a job that helps others can increase your job satisfaction and make your work more meaningful.1 Read below to see if you may be interested in pursuing a career in human services. 

Human Service Career Defined

First, let’s get a better understanding of what a human service career is. The National Organization for Human Services describes human services as a field that “[approaches] the objective of meeting human needs through an interdisciplinary knowledge base, focusing on prevention as well as remediation of problems, and [maintains] a commitment to improving the overall quality of life of service populations.” 2 What an incredible mission. While there are so many benefits to choosing a career in human services, it takes a special type of person to work in this field. A human service professional possesses knowledge and skills that allow them to better understand others.3 People who choose this career path have a desire to help the individuals and companies they serve to succeed and reach their highest potential. 

Perks of Choosing a Human Service Career 

There are countless advantages of working in the field of human services. Below are just a few of the many benefits! 

Transferable Skills

One of the beauties of becoming a human service professional is that many, if not all of the skills you will learn and use are transferrable, meaning their benefits carry over into different areas of life. Empathy, active listening, conflict resolution, patience, organization, excellent communication, and problem-solving are just a few of the countless transferable skills that come from this profession. Not to mention the relational skills you will gain from working closely with people every single day! 

Abundance of Opportunity 

Another pro about choosing a career in human services is that the field is wide open. You will not feel boxed in, in fact, you will experience just the opposite feeling! There are boundless opportunities, specialties, and niches within this field. We will discuss these options in further detail below. Even if you are coming from a previous job that does not fall into the field of human services, there is a high chance you will bring over many skills that will help you succeed! 

Range of Experience 

Didn’t get a degree in human services? That’s okay! While there are many human service positions that require a specific degree, there are also plenty of entry-level opportunities with little to no experience required. If you are willing to learn, have a positive attitude, and use what you already know to benefit those around you, you are already well on your way to thriving in this field. With that being said, thorough training is crucial to success. If you are pursuing an entry-level position, make sure you ask about their training and mentorship programs. 

Meaningful Work 

When you choose a career in human services, you have the opportunity to participate in work that makes a positive impact on the life of another. We all crave work that has meaning and purpose. Human service professionals get to experience that kind of work every day. 

The Arc is an organization that supports individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities in their pursuit of a fulfilling life. Thanks to the help of staff members at The Arc, program participants like Andrew are not only able to find jobs that are a good fit, but they are able to excel in their careers. Check out the immense impact you can make on someone’s life when you choose a career in human services by reading more of Andrew’s story here

Human Service Job Examples 

Now that we’ve established what a human service career is and why it’s such a great choice, let’s discuss some jobs that fall into this field. If you’ve decided that this profession could be a good fit for you, this list will help you get started on your job search!

Types of Human Service Professionals

As mentioned earlier, the field of human services is wide-open. Below are just a few of the many professions that fall into this category. 

  • Social Worker 
  • Direct Support Professional 
  • Community Outreach Worker 
  • Caregiver 
  • Case Manager 
  • Family Services Advocate
  • Counselor 
  • Disaster Relief Worker 
  • Public Health Educator 
  • Primary Care Coordinator 
  • Housing Program Manager 
  • Behavioral Therapist 
  • Patient Companion 
  • Child Life Specialist 
  • Personal Care Assistant 
  • Human Resources Specialist 
  • Activities Director 
  • Human Services Coordinator 
  • Nursing Home Administrator 
  • Gerontologist 

Thinking About a Career in Human Services?

If after reading this article you feel drawn toward the field of human services, you’re in the right place! Here at The Arc, we support people with developmental and intellectual disabilities while cultivating relationships that enrich the community. We focus on the core values of innovation, integrity, respect, quality, and caring to help our program participants live life to the fullest. When you choose to work at The Arc, you’ll learn transferable skills that can carry over into many areas of life, you’ll open yourself up to new opportunities and professional growth, and most importantly, you will engage in work that truly makes a difference in the lives of others. We accept a wide range of experiences and offer paid training! 

To learn more about career options at The Arc, click here. We’d love for you to join our team! 

Citations 

1https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/job-satisfaction/art-20046539#:~:text=Perceiving%20the%20value%20of%20your,client%2C%20or%20mentoring%20a%20colleague

 

2https://www.nationalhumanservices.org/what-is-human-services

 

3https://www.humanservicesedu.org/human-services-professional/

Blog: For Those Looking for Meaningful Work

For Those Looking for Meaningful Work

There are so many jobs out there, and picking the “right one” can be a daunting task. When choosing a career, we often make a comprehensive mental checklist of what we’re looking for including things like compensation, work-life balance, flexibility, and work culture, just to name a few. When searching for the career that’s right for you, there is one more item you can add to your checklist, and it may just move to the very top. 

A Harvard Business Review article featured a “Meaning and Purpose at Work Report” put together by BetterUp. After surveying 2,285 American workers across 26 industries, results showed that 9 out of 10 employees would trade a percentage of their earnings for a greater sense of purpose at work. They also found that 80% of participants would prefer an employer who cared about them finding meaning at work than earning a 20% pay raise!1

It turns out that choosing a career that makes a difference is key to experiencing overall satisfaction at work! 

Components of Meaningful Work 

So now you may be asking yourself, what makes work meaningful? Below are some important things to think about when discerning whether the job you are interested in checks this box on your list. 

Does the Career Help Others? 

The adage “It is better to give than to receive,” rings true when it comes to engaging in meaningful work. When you perform a job that includes giving, supporting others, and helping those in need, you make a lasting impact on your community and the world. Not to mention, the act of giving rewards your brain with several chemicals related to joy and inner peace.2 Choosing a career that puts people before programs can play a significant role in experiencing a career full of purpose. 

Does the Workplace Cultivate an Environment of Compassion? 

Not only is serving others a crucial aspect of finding meaningful work, but it’s also important to evaluate the degree to which you are cared for at your job. Does your workplace cultivate an environment of compassion and understanding? Does your employer check in with you, not just about work-related matters, but do they ask questions that show they genuinely care about you? You are valuable, not only as an employee but also as a person. Make sure your potential employer acknowledges your worth in their words and actions. 

Do you have Opportunities to Learn and Grow? 

Professional development plays a key role in what makes your work meaningful. A training industry article entitled, “How Professional Development Can Help Generation Z Find Meaning at Work3,” reflects on the desire Generation Z has for mentorship and coaching within a career. Having mentors and supervisors that help you set goals and push you towards a greater purpose is so important. In your next job interview, ask about what opportunities for apprenticeship and pathways for growth the company offers. 

How to Find Meaningful Work  

Now that we have laid some groundwork for the components of meaningful work, you may be thinking, this all sounds great, but are there any jobs out there that actually provide these things? The answer is yes! It may just take some digging. Below are a few tips and tricks that will help you identify companies and organizations that offer the items mentioned above. 

Check out the Company’s Values 

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier” (Roy E. Disney). Write out a list of values (your life principles) and standards, and then see if they match those of the company you are interested in working for. Many businesses and non-profits have a page on their website outlining the values they hold. You can find an example at https://arccarroll.org/about-us/. Here at The Arc, we clearly outline what we stand for right on our website. Researching these core values can help narrow down your job search. Choosing an employer that you share common ideals with will increase your satisfaction and sense of meaning at work.

Look for Certifications 

Another great way to find a company that offers meaningful work is to look for awards and recognition that indicate them as a fantastic employer. Some credible certifications of this kind include Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®, Great Place to Work Certification, and Glassdoor Best Places to Work. Sometimes even a good old Google or Indeed review search will do the trick. Chances are, you aren’t the only one out there looking for a job with meaning and purpose. Do your research and look for reputable companies that have been vetted by others. 

Go with your Gut 

This might be the most important tip of them all. Now that you have some more ideas about what you are looking for in a future career, listen to what your gut is telling you. If you get an icky feeling after an interview or you don’t like what you see on a company’s website, don’t pursue that job. If an employer talks down to you on a call or it doesn’t seem like you will have many opportunities to grow in the position, pass that one up. This may seem obvious, but so many people jump into an unfulfilling job situation simply because they didn’t stick to what they originally wanted. You bring VALUE to the table. Remember that as you continue the job search and listen to your gut throughout the process. 

 

Meaningful work is out there and it is yours for the taking! Make a list of what is important to you, do your research, and listen to your gut. At The Arc, there have several career options that we believe will add meaning and value to your life. If you would like to pursue any of these opportunities, click here

 

Citations 

1https://hbr.org/2018/11/9-out-of-10-people-are-willing-to-earn-less-money-to-do-more-meaningful-work

 

2https://health.clevelandclinic.org/why-giving-is-good-for-your-health/ 

 

3https://trainingindustry.com/articles/professional-development/how-professional-development-c     an-help-generation-z-find-meaning-at-work/ 

 

Launch of Project RISE

 

Launch of Project RISE: Funded by the Strengthening Relationships Campaign

The Arc Carroll County celebrated the launch of Project RISE with virtual events on April 12 and 13, 2021. Funded by the community through our Strengthening Relationships campaign, Project RISE is a new direct support professional (DSP) certification program that allows DSPs to grow their professional skills and earn nationally recognized industry credentials as well as earn financial incentives along the way. The program’s name reflects our goal to Recognize, Invest in, Support, and Empower our DSPs.

The campaign has reached nearly 90% of the $700,000 fundraising goal which allowed us to launch the program with a class of twenty-four (24) DSPs. The events introduced this inaugural class, thanked donors for helping to make the program possible, and included remarks from Secretary Carol A. Beatty from the Department of Disabilities, Senator Justin Ready, and Ande Kolp, executive director of The Arc Maryland. The events were hosted by our board president, Corynne Courpas and executive director, Don Rowe.

In addition to highlighting the important roles that DSPs play in the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the celebrations recognized the DSP class for their dedication and achievements (and longevity, in many cases) at The Arc. We are thrilled for this opportunity for DSPs to earn their DSP-I, DSP-II, and DSP-III certifications which will not only support our DSP workforce but also help us provide quality services throughout the community.

Congratulations to Project RISE’s inaugural DSP class which includes:

  • Bonnie Andrews
  • Kellie Bradshaw
  • Karen Brentlinger
  • Bethany Chalmers
  • Aaron Cole
  • Linda Dalton
  • Lisa Friedlander
  • Shelly Garber
  • Ashley Hanson
  • Catherine Hendrix
  • Amanda Holmes
  • Melissa Meyer
  • Amanda Morsell
  • Carla Neal
  • Jessica Officer
  • Amelia Quiroz
  • Manuel Quiroz
  • Mariel Ramey
  • Donna Renninger
  • Dana Shrader
  • Claudine Skidmore
  • Jessica Tye
  • Cheryl Walker

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