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.
Pathway Enterprises provides support services such as education, employment, and housing for more than 200 people with disabilities in Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, and Deschutes counties. Similar to other developmental disabilities providers, Pathway Enterprises currently has a turnover rate of 38 percent. This is the highest they have experienced since 2011, according to Executive Director Becky Simpson.
“Since February of last year, we have all seen an increase in turnover due to COVID-19,” she said. “Experienced caregivers and management in our field is a much-needed commodity, and we are all seeking these potential employees through expensive online platforms. Impact Oregon gives us a free and easier process for job seekers and HR managers.”
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.