Danielle Chiaraluce, Connecticut

2021 National APSE Board of Directors At-Large Candidate

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How many years have you been involved in integrated employment/supported employment?

27 years

The area(s) that best represents your current position/experience:

Service Provider or Manager

Describe your history/nature of involvement/interest in integrated employment/supported employment.

Presently, I am Executive Director of CareerAbility at Chapel Haven Schleifer Center Inc. Here, we support adults with ASD/DD. I am a Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP™) and have volunteered my time for the development of the CESP exam. I have over 25 years of employment support experience for youth and adults of diverse abilities throughout the country. Unique to my background are my many years of leadership experience working within nonprofits and in the government sector, specifically in workforce development, including executive leadership of (4) Connecticut nonprofits, Families United, OIC of New London County, Sofia Sees Hope, and CareerAbility at the Chapel Haven Schleifer Center, Inc. Over the years, I have served as lead family contact for the National Federation for Children’s Mental Health and SE-CT System of Care while executive director of Families United, a statewide, nonprofit & family-driven agency providing services to families, children, and youth who had- or were at risk of having- behavioral, emotional, or mental health challenges. I established the first Youth MOVE chapter in SE-CT, a youth advocacy effort, empowering individuals to become family advocates in their statewide communities. in 20212, I was awarded the Karen L. Fleming award by the Connecticut Children’s Trust Fund for my work with children and families to prevent child abuse and neglect and for ensuring the positive growth and development of Connecticut’s children. I have led multi-state Vocational Rehabilitation projects, acted in the role of Disability Coordinator within Job Corps, and have designed programs to assist adults with disabilities as they worked, entered or re-entered the workplace or engaged in Discovery. In these experiences, I have led in outcomes of job placement/retention, as well as developed classroom and community instruction that engages staff and students in collaborative team learning and seeks to develop their personal and career development.     

How will you be able to contribute to the growth and improvement of APSE as an organization?

Over the course of my career, I have supported life skills, career counseling, and job placement for the hardest to serve –in these roles, I have advanced into leadership, gaining substantial expertise in academic and career technical training, employment support, and career pathway training. I have gleaned knowledge from my work as a consultant to Department of Labor government contractors of Job Corps, and YouthBuild USA programs and Vocational Rehabilitation community resource provider programs throughout the country. I am a proficient proposal/grant writer and have familiarity with government contracting. I will use this expertise to offer support to strategy and sustainability. Additionally, my experience with data integrity and labor market research will help APSE to assess its relevancy and direction at the national and policy level.


Danielle Chiaraluce is Executive Director of CareerAbility at Chapel Haven Schleifer Center Inc., a program for adults with ASD/DD. She is a CESP with a B.S. in Criminal Justice and a dual masters in Management and Business Administration. Danielle has 25+ years of experience within human services and government, such as Job Corps a nationwide job-training program, and Vocational Rehabilitation projects. Her greatest pride has been in supporting the unemployed and underemployed. Unique to her background are her years of leadership of (4) nonprofits. Danielle established the first Youth MOVE chapter in SE-CT and she was the Lead Family Contact for the System of Care in SE-CT. In 2012, Danielle received the Karen L. Fleming award for her work with children and families to prevent child abuse. Danielle volunteers on a variety of initiatives for Employment First and recently engaged in the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities.

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