The DODD Employment First team reports an update on leadership for the initiative, as Kristen Helling, Employment First lead for the State of Ohio, has accepted a new leadership role with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) as Assistant Deputy Director for the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation. In this role, Helling will continue to work with community partners and other stakeholders to advance employment opportunities for people with disabilities. She will join OOD on May 18. Stacy Collins, project manager in the DODD Division of Policy and Strategic Direction, will be the DODD lead for the Employment First Initiative, following the departure of Helling.
Collins notes that her recent experience at the Department as Project Manager with the Employment First Initiative, as well as previous related experience in the public and private sectors serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, will help to bridge the transition to her new role. She stated, “I am honored to take on this new role, to continue to promote change within our system that will increase the number and improve the quality of community employment outcomes for Ohioans with developmental disabilities.”