I am a former vocational rehabilitation counselor with experience in public and private rehabilitation settings on return to work topics. One of the biggest challenges we had was community transportation. For many of the individuals I worked with, they were no longer able to drive and/or financial issues necessitated them to give up their personal auto. Lack of transportation options was a critical determinant to reentry into the workforce.
Now, I manage Federal transportation projects that focus on building mobility management and coordinated transportation networks. Return to work professionals, and others that work on worker's compensation topics, are rarely part of these coordinated processes at the local level.
It would be great if there were improved relationships/networks across the human services providers whose focus is on return to work and mobility providers in a community to minimize challenges that the lack of mobility options has for an individual seeking to renter the workforce. Even with the best career assessment, skill development, and supports, if an individual doesn't have a way to get to a job...all of this investment is meaningless. Could there be replicable strategies that communities can use to develop these coordinated efforts?
Thanks for the opportunity share my idea.