How do I find a Job? What Resources are Available?

The State of Oregon's Employment First initiative promotes the belief that all working age adults are able to work in fully integrated, community based employment settings; their positions should be based on their talents, skills, and interests; and they deserve to earn a livable wage.

In 2008, Oregon was one of the first states to formally adopt this employment first philosophy into policy. Oregon’s Department of Human Services has created a website dedicated to their philosophy and policy, providing a wealth of resources, explanation of services, as well as sharing stories of people’s experiences and successes in getting jobs. You can find more information at Oregon's Employment First website.


Employment has many benefits including, but not limited to:

  • Earning a living wage

  • Being an active and contributing member of the community

  • Feeling productive

  • Working as part of a team

  • Developing meaningful relationships with co-workers and employers

  • Pursuing the lifestyle you desire


Your PA's role in your search for a job is to assist you with: 

  • Navigating systems, such as:

    • Vocational Rehabilitation

    • Department of Education

  • Accessing services available to you

  • Advocating on your behalf

  • Assisting in communication and coordination between everyone involved in the job search

  • Making sure you are getting the support you need to be successful in a job you enjoy


Your Personal Agent does not provide direct supports, such as:

  • Filling out application

  • Preparing for interviews

  • Finding job openings

  • Job carving to meet your needs, skills, or interests


Services your PA can assist you in accessing to address direct supports include, but are not limited to:

  • Discovery and career exploration

  • Community work experience

  • Job development

  • Job coaching


Publicly funded employment support professionals your PA can assist you in accessing and coordinating with include, but are not limited to:

  • Vocational rehabilitation counselor

  • Employment specialist or job developer

  • Job coach

  • Transition program coordinator or teacher


To help you with the job search process, your PA may ask you some questions to help determine the services most appropriate in starting your unique path to employment:

  • Why are you interested in working? What in particular is motivating you to find a job?

  • What are your interests, skills, talents?

  • What kind of experience do you have in your areas of interests or skills? (This could be recreational, volunteer, or paid work experience.)

  • How far away are you willing and able to commute to a job?

  • How many hours per day/week would you like to work?

  • What part of the day would you prefer and be able to work?

  • Are there any concerns, barriers, or fears about working?


PA's are able to support individuals in accessing resources and services to address concerns, fears, and barriers related to employment. common examples include, but are not limited to:


Visit the Employment Outcomes System (EOS) website to view employment service data published by the Office of Developmental Disability Services (ODDS). Filter data by county.