ACRE Customized Employment Training

A cross-disability, evidence-informed practice resulting in positive employment outcomes. Employment is for Everyone.

Program Development/Trainer: Brian Dean, MA CRC


Guiding job seekers, like you, to recognize what you want to do and the contributions you will bring to a business.

Customized Job Development

Individualized approach of job negotiation focusing on job tasks rather than specific position descriptions.

Work Related Supports

Instructional job coaching methods with strategies intended to fade out over time.

What is Customized Employment?

Customized Employment (CE) is a universal employment strategy and is especially useful for career seekers where traditional job development methods have not typically been successful. The process is driven by the career seeker and focuses on what people can do. The employment specialist builds relationships with employers to match a person’s skills with unmet business needs that would not be found in public job postings. The philosophy of CE is one of a “no fail process”. The model is about helping people with significant disabilities achieve employment in inclusive settings and earn fair wages — CE assumes everyone can work. 

A Customized Employment Success

Cesar Majalca and his service provider, Margaret Sanderson, demonstrate the power of Customized Employment. After interviews of people who knew and understood his strengths, Cesar’s talents were revealed and matched with a local employer’s business needs resulting in a maintenance assistant job offer.

He would give you everything — I only needed to show him a couple of times how to do something, and he would complete the task on his own. That kid is a hard worker, and he will do whatever you give him to the best of his ability.” – Becky, Cesar’s High School Track Coach

Preparing for Work Preparing for Work After securing employment following the discovery process and customized job development, Cesar obtains new work clothes with his service provider, Margaret. Employee Cesar arrives at work on his bicycle and wearing a mask First Day on the Job Cesar arrives at work ready to practice safety requirements by using a facial covering. Margaret uses systematic instruction techniques to coach Cesar at his new job Learning New Job Tasks Margaret uses systematic instruction techniques to coach Cesar on the functions of his position.

Customized Employment Specialist Training

The Colorado Office of Employment First (COEF) is excited to present this training opportunity focused on elevating employment for all! The original ACRE Customized Employment curriculum development was funded by the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Customized Employment (CE) Training participants in will engage in an interactive learning experience that includes live sessions, On-Demand coursework, and individualized mentoring. CE Specialists are trained and certified in Discovery, Customized Job Development, and Work Related Supports. Trainees who complete this course will receive the nationally recognized ACRE Basic Employment Services Certificate with an emphasis in Customized Employment.

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Customized Employment Learning and Practice Communities

The purpose of the community is to provide an opportunity for collaborative learning and professional development, through shared knowledge and experiences of Customized Employment. This community is intended for Employment or Direct Service Professionals, Supervisors, VR Counselors, Case Managers, and any other interested parties. The community meets every other month September 2022 – May 2023 virtually on Zoom. Click here for dates and registration information.

For more information about Customized Employment, please email

JFK Partner Logo

The Colorado Office of Employment First sits under JFK Partners, the state’s University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, a program of the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Its creation was envisioned by Colorado Employment First Advisory Partnership (EFAP), a multi-state agency and stakeholder-led collaborative, and was made possible, in part, by funding from the Colorado Legislature and generously matched through the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) at the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE).

© 2023 Colorado Office of Employment First. All Rights Reserved.

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