VR counselors go back to basics at ‘Boot Camp’

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For the third time in five years, VRS got back to basics with a special training course for new counselors.

Approximately two-thirds of all vocational rehabilitation counselors have fewer than 10 years of service to the department, said James Myrick, VRS assistant commissioner.

“With such a young counseling staff,” Myrick said, “we’ve devised a special 16-hour training course to ensure our counselors are all up to speed on a wide variety of topics.”

The unique training offers an abundance of information for VR counselors culled from 18 different supervisors with decades of experience, he said.

The most-recent training, held earlier this month at the State Office in Montgomery, was led by VR State Office Administrators Craig Akin and Ashley Townsend.

Newly promoted VR supervisors also attend the training for consistency of message and to ensure they are completely in step with new counselors, said Myrick.

The course was originally devised in 2012 by Myrick and VRS Assistant Commissioner Curtis Glisson, then-state office administrator in VRS-Blind/Deaf, as a way to pass the torch to a newer generation of VR counselors.

Townsend said Boot Camp is intended to provide a framework for the entire rehabilitation process and offer a broad overview of several different topics, ranging from developing business partnerships to balancing casework to new regulations as specified in the Workforce Innovations and Opportunities Act (WIOA).

“We’re building better counselors,” Townsend said. “Boot Camp works by establishing a camaraderie among our counselors while ensuring we are all unified with each other.”




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