Small Group Employment of the Barber National Institute

Transitional Work Services - Small Group Employment | Barber National Institute

The Barber National Institute offers Small Group Employment (SGE) to persons with a variety of intellectual disabilities, autism, mental health challenges, and visual or hearing impairments. Training and work opportunities are provided to individuals who wish to transition from school or unemployment into an integrated, competitive workforce.

The program offers a variety of work experiences and specialized training in landscaping, food service, janitorial work, and machine operation. These and other opportunities give participants the experience needed to gain employment.

The goal of the program is to prepare individuals for future employment success.  For guidance in the job search process, individuals will transition into Supported Employment.

Initial Assessment

Establishes current skills and creates an individualized program based on ability. This is attained by observation and evaluation that concentrates on pace, production, stamina, time management, following simple and multi-step directions, organization, consistent work quality, teamwork, safe work practices, initiative, use of equipment, punctuality, appropriate social skills and response to supervision.


Hard and Soft Skills Training

Hard skills training teaches specific job duties, which are developed through concentrated instruction in small work groups, tailored to the individual's needs. Soft skills training develops important areas such as hygiene, appearance, attitude, response to supervision, voice control, personal space recognition, leadership, and socialization. This training occurs daily and is reinforced while on work crews.

Individualized Training

Flexibility to provide customized training to each participant. Schedules are arranged so that people can join work crews in areas that interest them. In addition, the SGE staff tailors training to address areas of need.


Incorporates positive, motivational activities that support skill development, including dress down days, leadership roles, attendance program and initiative recognition awards, all of which are designed to support the training effort and recognize individual success.

Transitional Work Services - Small Group Employment | Barber National Institute

For questions or more information on Small Group Employment at the Barber
National Institute contact: Steve Davis at 814-878-4085 or Jacob Dombkowski at 814-878-4083.

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