Prevocational Services

two women in the park

Developing Independence with Prevocational Training

Having a role in the community can help improve self-confidence, independence and quality of life for adults and young adults with developmental disabilities. North Central Health Care strives to help each individual become a productive, responsible, and participating member of the community by helping them acquire daily living and vocational skills that promote optimum levels of independence in the home, community, and workplace.

We offer adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to learn work skills while promoting self-worth through paid work, as well as advancement in wage, work habits, productivity, and skill level. Individuals participate in paid work tasks that could lead to a referral to the Supported Employment Program and a job in the community. Individualized programs focus on work activities, vocational orientation, and training and transitional employment.

Program Entry

Knowledgeable staff will assist each participant in touring, registration and through the program entry process. Entry typically begins with a tour of program options, an outline of program entry process and the required admission forms. Each participant receives an entry assessment, and upon being qualified, is assigned a prevocational case worker. After completing admission forms and being hired, each participant will:

  • Have a 30 day assessment to evaluate current level of skills
  • Identify a personal service plan to focus on individual goals and outcomes toward work skill development.

Basic Life Skills Training Sessions

Basic Life Training Sessions offer individuals opportunities to learn and develop skills, knowledge and motivation within a group or classroom setting. This provides participants with the knowledge to improve overall work skills required to progress to competitive employment. Sessions offered include:

  • Basic Education
  • Community Readiness
  • Hands-on Training

Program Progression

Entry-Level Work Area Provides a high level of supervision and structure to assist in positive work habit and skills development. This area prepares individuals for independence and advancement through the program and potentially achieving community-based employment.

Step 1 – Begin the progression toward independence.

Participants are instructed and work on performing and completing job tasks, as physically able, by removing individual job step break down and increasing work expectations. Participants begin to learn supply location of work materials and placement of finished product. In addition, they also learn increased quality expectations, and how to identify their own quality issues and self correction. Encouragement is also given for each participant to seek out assistance and supervisor direction when needed rather than relying on random checks.

Step 2 – Significantly increase levels of independence.

Participants are required to be self-starting and motivated. A higher level of cognitive skill building and depiction skills are promoted. These skills will be required and applied in community employment exploration, as well as a transition into Step 3.

Step 3 – Community Volunteer Sites

If community employment is part of future plans, then progression through prevocational programming will include working with our Supported Employment Program at community-based volunteer sites. These sites give participants the opportunity to experience community-based work activities prior to job exploration. This assists in defining personal work preferences and improving any additional skill sets that may be needed in community-based settings, as compared to a training center. This also ensures personal success and a positive experience.


“I have reached the goal of Community Employment. Now what? How do I get out in the community and work?”


There are several volunteer site opportunities that include local service and resource agencies. In the Wausau area, we partner with agencies like The Salvation Army, Dime & Dollar, Habitat for Humanity, Stable Hands Equine Therapy Center, Saint Vincent DePaul and local animal shelters. In the Antigo area, we partner with the Boys & Girls Club, local food pantries and Goodwill to name a few. Volunteer sites are continually being developed and vary as the needs and interests of participants change. This life experience allows job coaches to assess the skill level of each individual, and determine if there are skills that need more attention. This also assists the individual with locating the most beneficial job that suits their preferences and satisfies the organization or business.

WI Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) Process

After working at volunteer sites, along with the input of a job coach’s assessment on each individual’s skill development and improvement, the DVR process can be pursued without the assistance of a job coach. After completing the necessary processes with DVR, job coaches will then assist individuals in finding a community-based job that best fits their individual needs and interests.

The prevocational program is available Monday through Friday from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm. To make a referral or determine whether an individual is available for State or Federally funded assistance, call 715.627.6232 or 888.486.9545.

Work Exploration Site

Members participating in the Work Exploration Site program will have the opportunity to determine their level of interest in specific job fields through hands on work at the work site of their choice. Experience in a real work environment will help them to decide what type of position would make a successful job match as they move towards community focus and permanent employment.

Fit for Life Club

Many jobs are physically challenging. Some require long hours of standing
or walking. Others may require heavy lifting, bending or reaching. Fit for Life Club is here to help consumers get in shape so they are able to carry out the tasks needed for employment. Staff will also educate consumers on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle to get the most out of life. Creating the right health balance can help lead to success! (View Brochure)

To contact Prevocational Services in your county
Marathon County: 715.841.5172
Langlade County: 715.627.6636
Lincoln County: 715.539.2510