VIP Fact Sheet

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The Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) is sponsoring a multi-component Pilot Project at the Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education – Roosevelt.   The program components are the Vocational Training Program, the Incubator Program and the Business Intensive; the name of this new program is VIP of Chicago.  The program is designed to serve DRS customers age 18-26 that have completed their high school diploma.

Business Intensive:   The participant in this short term business intensive will spend part of their day learning a variety of business structures, the elements of a business plan, and a chance to meet business owners so they can get first- hand information of what business ownership really entails.  The second part of their day will consist of an opportunity to try out the VIP vocational programs.  By the end of the program, the participants should be able to make a more informed decision as to whether they want to pursue business ownership, more advanced training, or pursue other opportunities outside of ICRE-R.  Each customer will leave with a Functional Vocational Evaluation designed to give meaningful information to both the customer and the DRS Counselor.

Vocational Training: This program will allow participants to be trained in one of five areas: graphic software, business applications software, heat press operations, computerized embroidery and retail operations.  In the future music technology will be added to the program.  Software applications will be taught in new computer labs that are designed to accommodate all the assistive technology requirements of customers.  Graphic software includes Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator.  Business applications include Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Prezi and Google organizational tools.   For those customers that wish to pursue business ownership, the VIP offers a Business Planning Class.  This class will help you write a fundable Business Plan that you can bring to your DHS vocational counselor for you Individual Plan for Employment (IPE).

Incubator Program:  This program will provide office space and business support services for those DRS customers with an approved business plan.  The goal of this program is to give new business owners the best opportunities for success.  The program will provide office space and an array of business services, i.e., copying, clerical services, mentorship, phone, fax, etc.  In the future we will be able to provide assistance with bookkeeping and other activities that oftentimes overwhelm the business start-up process.  Continuing education seminars will be organized and offered to all participants.