Life's Work of Western Pennsylvania

Life's Work works with communities in Western Pennsylvania to find and develop competitive employment opportunities for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment so that these individuals may achieve independence and contribute to the communities in which they live.

Vocational counselors assist each individual in the development of a vocational goal plan, which requires the client's input throughout the development process.

Adult Services

Vocational Evaluation

Provides an opportunity to provide an individual with career exploration by allowing them to sample different jobs through the use of simulated jobs called work samples.  A Vocational Evaluator will prepare a report and meet with the individual and support team to discuss this report and make recommendations for potential careers and education/training.

Supported Employment

Helps people with disabilities individualized services to assist them in obtaining and maintaining successful employment.

Work Ready Program

Provides assistance to individuals who are receiving TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) by helping them to become self-sufficient.  Individuals in this program are provided with case management services that help them obtain community resources as well as training that will help make them more desirable to potential employers. 

This program consists of two phases:  pre-placement and post-placement.  Pre-placement is when the individual participates in a state approved activity, such as a paid work experience or and education and training program, for a predetermined amount of time each week.  The individual will remain in this phase until he/she obtains employment for 20 or more hours per week.  At that point the individual will move to the post-placement phase for 6 months.  They will continue to receive case management to help ensure a positive transition to the work force.

Skill Development Programs

Work Adjustment Training

Provides short term paid work experiences to help individuals obtain basic skills to retain employment.

Extended Employment

Provides long term assistance to help individuals obtain basic skills to help them obtain and retain employment.  Individuals are paid for their work but pay is according to productivity to help give them an incentive to increase their work.

Transitional Services

Provides long term assistance to individuals by helping them to develop their skills in the community while being supervised by a Life's Work staff person.

Community-Based Assessments (CBA)

Provides an individual with an evaluation by staff to determine the developmental steps that the individual may need before they can be successful placed on a job.  This allows the individual to work under supervision before being placed on the job. 

Youth Services

Project Choice

Provides juvenile offenders and at-risk youth between the ages of 12 - 21 with or without disabilities with help in transitioning from to school to work.  The focus is on the student's social, education, and vocational development. 

Project Match

Provides individuals between the ages of 16 and 23 with significant disabilities transition from school to work. 


An intensive employment service for individuals between the ages of 14 and 23 who have been part of the court system, are considered at-risk, or have disabilities. 

Specialized Training Programs

Connections Computer and Customer Service Representative Training Program (CSR Class)

Provides individuals with an 8-week job training and job placement services.  The training program provides the individual with skills in the areas of computer processing and customer service.  At the end of the program each individual will also have a completed resume and cover letter and will receive assistance in securing employment.

Environmental Service Training Program

Provides an individual with a comprehensive vocational curriculum in the area of environmental service (e.g., safety practices, floor care, building maintenance, etc.).  This curriculum helps the individual to determine a career path and also assess their work skills and the duties associated with that job.  Individuals will also be assisted with developing a resume and cover letter and help obtaining employment.

Life's Work and Controlled Environment Horticulture, Inc. (CEH)

Life's Work and CEH have combined to offer a training and employment program for individuals with disabilities at CEH's Sewickley Creek Greenhouse.  The program provides training in horticulture and aims to help them obtain employment in that field.

Ben & Jerry's PartnerShop

Provides on-the-job training to youth who are deemed at-risk or have disabilities.  Ben & Jerry's makes it part of their corporate social mission to help society, and providing the opportunity for not-for-profit organizations to independently own a retail location is a great way to help the organization raise funds while also providing training in important job skills.  There are two locations now open in Pittsburgh - one in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood and one in Downtown Pittsburgh's Cultural District.

Source Information for this page can be found here.