Supported Employment & Education Specialist, Full-time, Days

  • 676 N. St. Clair, Chicago, IL
  • Full-time
  • Job Shift: Day Job (1st)

Company Description

At Northwestern Medicine, every patient interaction makes a difference in cultivating a positive workplace. This patient-first approach is what sets us apart as a leader in the healthcare industry. As an integral part of our team, you'll have the opportunity to join our quest for better healthcare, no matter where you work within the Northwestern Medicine system. At Northwestern Medicine, we pride ourselves on providing competitive benefits: from tuition reimbursement and loan forgiveness to 401(k) matching and lifecycle benefits, we take care of our employees. Ready to join our quest for better?

Job Description

The Supported Employment & Education Specialist reflects the mission, vision, and values of NM, adheres to the organization’s Code of Ethics and Corporate Compliance Program, and complies with all relevant policies, procedures, guidelines and all other regulatory and accreditation standards.

This role carries out the services of the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model of supported employment by assisting young adult clients with serious mental illness to obtain and maintain employment that is consistent with their vocational goals. The Specialist provides support for schooling and technical training for career advancement.

This position is granted supported and will remain active throughout the life of that funding, which does not currently have an end date.


  • Engages clients and establishes trusting, collaborative relationships directed toward the goal of competitive employment in community job settings.
  • Assists clients in obtaining individualized information about how entitlements (e.g., SSI, Medicaid, etc.) will be affected by employment. Refers clients to benefits counseling, as needed. Helps clients report earnings, as needed.
  • Assesses client’s vocational skills and preferences on ongoing basis. Discusses client's preference for disclosure of mental health status to employers.
  • Helps clients learn about different jobs/careers by assisting with meetings with workers/managers to ask about positions that interest clients, meetings with academic advisors, observing workers, and attending job fairs to speak with employers about different jobs.
  • Conducts job development and job search activities directed toward positions that are individualized to the interests and uniqueness of clients on the caseload.
  • Conducts employer contacts each week. Businesses visited are based on client job preferences. The aim of making multiple, in-person contacts with individual companies is to understand the employer's business needs and build relationships with employers. 
  • Provides individualized follow-along supports to assist clients in maintaining employment. Writes and updates job support plans.
  • Provides education and support to employers as agreed upon by clients. May negotiate job accommodations and follow-along contact by the IPS specialist with the employer.
  • Provides outreach services as necessary to clients when they appear to disengage from the service. Provides timely interventions.
  • Participates in weekly meetings with mental health treatment team and coordinates as needed to integrate vocational services with mental health treatment.
  • Participates in face-to-face meetings with state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) counselors at least once a month to coordinate services for clients. Collaborates with individual counselors between meetings to assist clients.
  • Develops an individual employment and/or education plan with clients. Incorporates input from mental health team and family members, with client permission.
  • Spends 65% or more of scheduled work hours in the community.
  • Assists clients in learning about different education and vocational training programs related to client interests and academic aptitudes. Focuses on mainstream education and certificate training programs only.
  • Provides supports with financial aid including the annual Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), understanding loan obligations, applying for scholarships, obtaining tools, equipment and computers.
  • Offers supports prior to the beginning of education programs including accompanying new students on campus/school tours, buying books or supplies, applying for services with the Office of Disability Services; offers help during school term by managing school schedule, tracking drop/add dates, etc.
  • Collaborates with counselors at the Office for Disability Services, professors/instructors, and counselors at the Financial Aid Office, as needed.



  • Bachelor’s degree in mental health, social services, or business (e.g., marketing, human resources, communications, public relations) 
  • Aptitude to engage both consumers and employers in obtaining and maintaining rewarding employment or education.  


  • Minimum two years of experience

Additional Information

Northwestern Medicine is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation or any other protected status.