Social and Behavioral Sciences
BACKGROUND: State vocational rehabilitation agencies (SVRAs) have been developing business relations capacity for decades, as part of a dual-customer approach. The literature to date explores “demand-side” strategies in VR, but little is known about what infrastructure is being built to sustain demand-side approaches.OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to describe SVRAs’ efforts to build capacity in business relations through current policies and practice, staffing and organizational structures, marketing and outreach, and other related strategies.METHODS: Researchers conducted a web-based survey of the population of SVRAs (n = 80). The target respondent was the National Employment Team (NET) “single point of contact” for business relations activities at the SVRA.RESULTS: Sixty-seven SVRAs responded to the survey. Results indicate that SVRAs are providing a wide range of services to businesses and engaging in a wide variety of business relations activities. VR has an infrastructure to serve businesses as customers, as supported by data reported about business relations staffing patterns, organizational structures, and qualificationsof business relations staff.CONCLUSIONS:The results provide important insights for developing a baseline measure of VR business relations capacity, which should be considered one element of the dual-customer approach and of demand-side strategies in general.
Haines, Kelly; Soldner, James; Zhang, Libin; St. Laurent, May-Lorie; Knabe, Barbara; West-Evans, Kathy; Mock, Linda; and Foley, Susan, "Vocational rehabilitation and business relations: Preliminary indicators of state VR agency capacity" (2018). School for Global Inclusion and Social Development Faculty Publications. 9.