9/12 - 10/12 - ACRE Employment Services Certificate with an Emphasis on Customized Employment

ACRE Employment Services Certificate with an Emphasis on Customized Employment

Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators


Hybrid: In-Person or Virtual

***9/12 Class will be virtual-only***

Facilitated by Penn-Mar Human Services Consulting

DDA strongly recommends that all DDA Provider DSPs complete the

ACRE training before taking the APSE CESP exam.  DSPs and other employment service providers that successfully complete the ACRE training will be reimbursed

100 percent of the registration fee by DDA (*Conditions apply. Please see below for further information*).

September & October 2023 

Tuesday, 9/12 (virtual-only) - Wednesday, 9/13 - Tuesday, 9/19

Wednesday, 10/11 - Thursday, 10/12

                                      All sessions are 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.                                     


Registration Fee: $500 Per Registrant

Location: Hybrid - In-person or Virtual ***9/12 class session is virtual-only***

All registrants will receive the ZOOM Meeting Webinar link and access to handouts one week prior to the first ACRE training session


To receive a certificate an “ACRE Certificate of Achievement”, participants must attend all ten sessions (40 hours of training) and successfully complete all activities and field-based assignments.  Several field assignments include leading an employment seeker at your organization through the employment process as taught in class.

Session 1 (9/12)

Application of Core Values and Principles of Practice
This session focuses on the history, core values, and principles of Supported Employment.  This includes the rights and responsibilities of people receiving services, ethical guidelines, and philosophy of community employment, as well as disability legislation, funding, regulations, and policies impacting people with disabilities.

Session 2-3 (9/13, 9/19)

Assessment & Career Planning
This 2-day session focuses on individualized assessment and employment/career planning.  Discovery is introduced as the foundation of career planning and participants will learn how to design and implement a discovery process for employment seekers.  This includes learning how to gather information about the employment seeker (skills, interests, community connections, conditions for success) while encouraging the employment seeker’s active participation and decision-making throughout the career planning process.  Participants will have an opportunity to complete each step of the discovery process with an employment seeker, learn how to facilitate a customized employment planning meeting, and develop a vocational profile.  Trainees will learn the basics of self-employment/entrepreneurship, the impact of wages on disability benefits, the availability of work incentives, and how to make referrals to other agencies for assistance.     

Session 4: (10/11)

Community Research & Job Development
This session provides an overview of customized employment and uses the information obtained about the employment seeker during the discovery process to create a Job Development plan.  Participants will learn how to develop relationships with businesses, assist employment seekers with the job search process, develop employment proposals, understand LEAN process improvement, and negotiate a win-win job match based on the employment seeker’s ideal conditions of employment and the needs of a business.  Participants will have an opportunity to complete each step of the job development process with an employment seeker.    

Session 5: (10/12)

Workplace & Related Supports
This session focuses on developing workplace supports with an overview of systematic instruction.  Participants will learn how to do an effective job analysis, and implement job training, fading plans, and strategies for developing comprehensive workplace supports.   Participants will learn creative strategies to ensure the employee enters the job in the most inclusive manner possible and help them to maximize their job performance and meet the expectations of the workplace.


 Facilitator: Kevin Walker has over 27 years of experience with Penn-Mar Human Services, and served in various direct support, managerial, and leadership roles before becoming the Director of Business Development.  Kevin spearheaded Penn-Mar’s Employment 1st initiative in 2009, and for the past 6 years has provided training and technical assistance to like-minded provider organizations.  Kevin is a certified Work Incentive Practitioner and a 2020 graduate of Leadership Baltimore County.  He is recognized as a subject matter expert on employment and serves on the Maryland Employment 1st leadership team. 

Facilitator: Tricia Zeltwanger has been employed with Penn-Mar Human Services since 1991.  Tricia held the position of Contract Manager until 2012 when she took the position as a Job Developer.  Tricia’s vital role is to connect with our community through networking and developing employer partnerships.  Tricia is a 2014 graduate of Leadership York.  She created the York Business Networking Group and has served as its President since 2015.  Tricia is an Ambassador for the York County Economic Alliance and serves on the Board of Southern York County Business Association.  Tricia trains Penn-Mar new hires on Customized Employment and is passionate about the needs and goals of each employment seeker.  Tricia has demonstrated a high level of success in placing many employment seekers in community employment.

*DDA ACRE Reimbursement*

The Developmental Disabilities Administration is committed to enhancing community employment options for persons with developmental disabilities. A key component of our efforts is ensuring qualified employment service providers have the skills, knowledge and tools they need to support people with developmental disabilities to achieve competitive integrated employment opportunities in their local communities.

To this end, the reimbursement, effective July 1, 2018, to employment service providers for DDA-approved employment training and certification exams will continue to be paid until otherwise communicated by the DDA.

To receive reimbursement, providers will need to invoice DDA with the following information and submit to your regional directors:

● Name and title of the employee

● Name of the provider organization

● Date(s) and location of the training

● Name of the training and training provider

● Supporting documentation that the employee has completed the course successfully

● For reimbursement of fees for the Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP) exam through the Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE), provide supporting documentation that the employee has passed the exam

● Training fees 

For questions, please email Kasey Venn, Statewide Coordinator of Employment, at kasey.venn@maryland.gov.



September 12th, 2023
September 13th, 2023
September 19th, 2023
October 11th, 2023
October 12th, 2023
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Event Category:
Training Program


Hybrid: In-Person or Virtual
10270 Old Columbia Rd. Suite 100
Columbia, MD 21046

A cancellation notice is required five business days in advance for a refund. To request a cancellation, please send your request to registration@mdworks.com. This payment is not deductible as a charitable contribution but may be deducted as a business expense. Please provide notice of accommodations needed two weeks in advance.
Courses have individual attendance requirements to receive a certificate. Please inquire with the trainer before missing any classes.
Unregistered Attendees: Training fees are per seat. Only those who have registered for a training are allowed to attend. If MD Works identifies unregistered attendees in a training course, MD Works will invoice for each unregistered attendee.