New Star offers consumers a full spectrum of opportunities when it comes to career development. From working in the community to training as a member of our e-recycling or janitorial teams to contributing within our sheltered workshop, we cultivate a culture of personal success by putting employment first and providing personalized supports every step of the way.


Employment First

At New Star, we understand that working is about so much more than a paycheck. Having a long-term, rewarding job builds self-esteem, creates lasting relationships, and opens numerous opportunities for greater independence. That’s why New Star is an Employment First organization. When consumers express a desire to work in the community, their Case Manager immediately refers them to our employment specialists, trained to guide them through the DRS (Division of Rehabilitation Services) referral process. As an Employment First organization, we provide our consumers access to several programs designed to assist them in finding work including Illinois’ Ticket to Work, the DRS Milestone program, and SEP Contracts.

Presumed Ability

Our consumers are defined by the limitless potential of their abilities rather than the perceived limits of their disabilities. That being said, we recognize that success in the workplace often requires a variety of supports, especially in the beginning. That’s where our Individual Placement and Support (IPS) program is making a difference.

We Support Success

IPS is an evidence-based approach to employment that has enabled our consumers to find and keep long-term, rewarding jobs. Its success is built upon an integrated team approach. Our employment specialists work one-on-one with case managers, coordinators, direct support professionals, family members, vocational rehabilitation counselors and potential employers to find a position that maximizes each consumer’s unique strengths.

Six phases of support, including:

  • Program Intake
    Individuals meet with their Employment Specialist using assessments to explore wants and needs in community employment.
  • Engagement
    An Employment Specialist meets with individuals one on one.
  • Ongoing Assessments
    Choice and preference are more fully explored over 2-3 meetings with the individual
  • Job Development/Job Placement
    Employment Specialist meets with employers and builds relationships in the effort to match an employer’s need with an individual’s job preferences.
  • Job Coaching
    An Employment Specialist provides job coaching services until the individual can maintain their job independently.
  • Follow-Along Supports
    Include, but are not limited to:

On-The-Job training/coaching
Transportation training
Computer skills development
Resume building
Frequent employer contact, and
Building natural supports

For more information, please contact Erica Gibson at (708) 755-8030 ext. 3206 or egibson@newstarservices.org