VOCATIONAL SERVICES

The VALLEYLIFE Vocational Services program supports individuals with disabilities in our community who need assistance obtaining or maintaining employment. We are committed to promoting independence through employment and we believe that job opportunities should be available for everyone who wants to work.

Vocational Services provides support to more than 150 individuals every day in their quest for employment opportunities. Our highly skilled staff offers employment-related services in a supportive setting that encourages independence. Members receive a customized program created specifically to meet their needs.

The Vocational Services program offers a wide range of services designed to help our Members navigate employment opportunities, including:

Supported Employment (Job Development & Placement, Support to Maintain Employment)

Supported Employment is an evidence-based practice designed to help individuals with a mental health diagnosis obtain and maintain competitive employment in the community. This method involves job searching, development, and coaching from employment specialists.

Basics of Supported Employment:

  • Services are focused on competitive employment in the community.

  • Eligibility is based on member choice.

  • Rapid job search occurs.

  • Vocational services are integrated with clinical services.

  • Vocational goals are based on member preferences, strengths, abilities, and experiences.

  • Time unlimited and individualized support is provided.

  • Benefits counseling is provided.

  • Members placed in the community at a location that is convenient for the consumer.

Supported Employment services are available to people referred by Mercy Care.

For more information, please view our Supported Employment brochure in English or Spanish.

Work Adjustment Training, Job Development & Placement, Job Coaching/Job Support


Work adjustment training assists Members in developing or strengthening the following work-readiness skills:

  • Completing necessary employment forms.

  • Understanding the importance of and maintaining personal hygiene.

  • Understanding expectations for attendance and punctuality.

  • Learning and understanding job duties.

  • Responding to work instructions and accepting direction and supervision.

  • Maintaining physical and mental work stamina/pace.

  • Managing symptoms or effects of disability, tolerating stress, and handling time pressure/multi-tasking.

  • Exhibiting appropriate behaviors when interacting with others.

Job Development and placement services focus on assisting Members in finding and maintaining desired employment in the community. Job development staff works closely with each Member to determine strengths, needs, and interests in order to obtain and maintain successful employment outcomes.

Once employed, job coaching and job support services are available to promote employment stability and continued success on the job.

These services are available to individuals referred by Vocational Rehabilitation (VR).

Group Supported Employment and Individual Supported Employment

Group Supported Employment (GSE) services provide supervision and support in an integrated employment setting in the community. VALLEYLIFE partners with local businesses to provide GSE opportunities in the following areas: restaurant/hospitality, janitorial services, retail, print shop, warehouse, and customer service.

Individual Supported Employment (ISE) services provide job development assistance in matching Members with their desired competitive employment setting in the community, as well as time-limited job coaching support designed to help Members maintain successful employment.

These services are provided to individuals referred by the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD).


Partnering with Businesses to Meet Employment Needs


Vocational Services partners with many local businesses and organizations that provide not only employment and training opportunities for our Members, but provide quality services to the host business or organization as well. VALLEYLIFE is always looking for new community partners for which we can deliver many high-quality services, such as:

  • Janitorial services

  • Landscape maintenance

  • Restaurant services (e.g. silverware rolling, menu assembly, table setting, general cleaning, etc.)

  • Document and printing services

  • Shrink wrapping and shipping preparation

  • Order fulfillment

  • Sorting, kitting, labeling, and packaging

We encourage employers to learn more about the benefits of hiring our Members. Businesses that partner with VALLEYLIFE can expect to enjoy the following benefits:

  • Workforce recruitment of trained, pre-screened and job-ready workers.

  • Federal tax credits and cost-saving incentives for businesses.

  • Education and awareness training for businesses working with people with disabilities.

  • Employment specialist who are there to work with both employers and employees to help meet goals and enhance success.

We are proud of our training and employment partnerships with local employers and value all our strong affiliations with our funding organization.

Ticket to Work

Ready to work but still want to keep your SSI/SSDI benefits?

Ticket to Work is a voluntary, free program for social security beneficiaries aged 18 through 64 who want to work. Participants in the Ticket to Work program can enter employment and may continue to receive their Supplementary Security Income benefits and/or Social Security Disability Insurance while they explore work options. There are a number of incentives designed to help participants succeed at work:

  • Participants may be able to keep Medicaid/Medicare while they work

  • Participants will be exempt from Continuing Disability Review (CDR) while actively involved in the program.

  • Participants have access to individualized support services.

  • Participants can try work with confidence, knowing they may be able to keep some or all benefits during the transition period.


Social Security's Ticket to Work program supports career development for Social Security disability beneficiaries by providing free access to service providers that can assist in all stages of employment transition. VALLEYLIFE is an Employment Network that helps Ticket Holders find and maintain employment in order to work towards financial independence. The Ticket program helps people with disabilities progress toward financial independence. 


We can help you, too! We can help by:

  • Developing an Individual Work Plan that addresses your specific employment goals and needs.

  • Providing career counseling to help you reach your employment goals

  • Assisting with job placement

  • Coaching you through the transition back to work

  • SSI/SSDI benefits coaching.

For more information, see our Ticket to Work FAQ. You can contact us by phone at 602-216-6393 or at tickettowork@valleylifeaz.org

Pre-Employment Transition Services

Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) help guide and prepare students with disabilities with skills to successfully select a career path. VALLEYLIFE offers Pre-ETS workshops in the following areas:

  • Job Exploration Counseling

  • Work-Based Learning

  • Counseling on Postsecondary Education

  • Workplace Readiness Training

  • Instruction in Self-Advocacy 

VALLEYLIFE has scheduled classes every week from 1:00 - 1:45 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. View our Pre-Employment Transition Services Flyer for more information.

Eligibility Requirements: Participants must be a student in secondary, postsecondary, or other recognized education program between the ages of 14 and 22 years of age.

Questions/Contact Information

For more information about our vocational program, please contact Jennifer Baier, Director of Vocational and Employment Services, at jbaier@valleylifeaz.org or 602-216-6393.

Notice of Health Information Practices: English | Spanish