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State launches jobs website for growing developmental disabilities field

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Office of Developmental Disabilities Services launched a website, ImpactOregon.careers, focused on available positions in the developmental disabilities field throughout Oregon.

Job seekers in Oregon will find hundreds of available jobs, ranging from direct care to administrative and managerial positions. In addition to the job postings, Impact Oregon also has a career profiles section, which highlights the way this field has room for growth and opportunity.

Job seekers statewide can browse available listings based on location, wage range and experience level. The goal of Impact Oregon is to reach Oregonians passionate about helping others who may not even be aware that this field exists.

“The developmental disabilities field has never had a centralized place where people can learn about careers and find opportunities,” said Lilia Teninty, director of the state’s Office of Developmental Disabilities Services.

“We need people who are passionate about issues of equity, social justice and excited to support people with disabilities to achieve their goals in this field.”

ImpactOregon.careers is a project of the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services but focuses on jobs available from independent provider agencies that provide direct support to more than 30,000 Oregonians with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Nationally, and in Oregon, there is a critical shortage of direct support professionals to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. According to the 2020 Case for Inclusion Report, there is a 9 percent vacancy rate nationally, with a 43 percent turnover rate of direct support professionals. By 2026, the industry will need almost 50 percent more DSPs than are needed today.

ImpactOregon.careers is one way that the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services is addressing this demand for workers.

Providers have struggled with a worker shortage, particularly in the area of direct support professionals who provide essential care and supports to Oregonians with developmental disabilities.

Community Access Services serves more than 100 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Columbia, Washington, Clackamas and Multnomah counties. Executive Director Anna Keenan-Mudrick started in the field 28 years ago as a direct support professional.

“Recruitment has been a challenge in our field historically and has become all the more difficult in the last several years as the workforce opportunities statewide have shifted, and as longtime direct support professionals and leaders in our field retire,” she said. “Simply put, we are in desperate need of a more effective, formal way to get out the word about the wide range of career opportunities available in this incredible field. Impact Oregon provides an exciting opportunity to make this happen.”

About ODDS: The Oregon Department of Human Services’ Office of Developmental Disabilities Services provides leadership to support persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live as full participants in their communities. Oregon is recognized nationally as an innovative leader in developing community-based services for individuals with I/DD. Oregon’s system has the benefit of a strong advocacy community, one that has a long history and firm commitment to supporting people with I/DD to live as independently as possible in their communities.

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.

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