TRANSITIONAL EMPLOYMENT UNLIMITED was founded in 1982 to help people with disabilities maintain employment. David K. McGill, founder of TEU, served as Vocational Principal of American School for the Deaf for over 10 years. During his tenure, Mr. McGill observed highly skilled, trained individuals lose their jobs and return to the school for more and more training. The patterns observed by McGill led him to the conclusion that people lose jobs not because they are unable to perform the job tasks, but rather their attitude and behavior interferes with their ability to perform the job. That observation provided the foundation of Transitional Employment Unlimited, a private, for-profit agency, geared to help people overcome their own self-defeating behaviors.
Since its beginning, Transitional Employment Unlimited has served hundreds of clients in Connecticut through referrals from the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, the Veterans Administration, public school systems and other agencies. The majority of TEU's clients have maintained their positions for over one-year, far exceeding everyone's expectations.
Transitional Employment Unlimited (TEU) works closely with each individual focusing on their existing skills and abilities to locate appropriate employment. Once the work site is established, the TEU Counselor acts as a liaison between the employer and the employee. At times this requires the Counselor to educate the employer on the nature and extent of the disability, working cooperatively to develop realistic accommodations. At other times, the Counselor assists the new employee in learning their job tasks, as well as addressing negative behaviors and/or attitudes that could affect the success of the job.
In 1986 Transitional Employment Unlimited expanded to include a contract with the Department of Developmental Services by providing mildly retarded clients with employment in a northwest Connecticut factory. The contract has expanded to now include a Career Drop-in-Center and small work crews for the developmentally disabled.
Today Transitional Employment Unlimited is continuing its services in almost three-quarters of the state, providing a range of services from Vocational Assessments and Career Explorations to an effective Behavior Modification program for the more difficult clients. In addition, TEU continues to provide transitional employment support. Staff members work closely with employers by providing intervention and education as needed. Employers appreciate that TEU staff all have varied backgrounds and an understanding of their perspectives. That has helped to develop very positive working relationships.
In all of Transitional Employment Unlimited programs, the emphasis is on helping each individual identify an appropriate job and minimize self-defeating behaviors. Both components are necessary for long-term job success and putting an end to job failure.