Tricia Jones-Parkin, Utah
2021 National APSE Board of Directors Rocky Mountain Southwest Regional Delegate Candidate
How many years have you been involved in integrated employment/supported employment?
The area(s) that best represents your current position/experience:
Describe your history/nature of involvement/interest in integrated employment/supported employment.
In 2005 I became a Certified benefits planner and began to understand the power of employment for people with intellectual disabilities. I was a support coordinator and started supporting more people to become employed. I lead an Employment priority initiative and crafted language with a key legislator to pass Utah’s Employment First law in 2011. I have focused on building capacity in Utah through demonstration projects and system change grants and spending as much time as possible with job seekers, and their support systems, and the business community to help as many Utahans with disabilities become employed as possible. In 2014 I applied for the ODEP Partnership and was the lead for our state and in 2016 I applied for the Partnership in Employment Systems Change grant and am currently the project director for that grant focusing on youth with most significant disabilities becoming employed before exiting school.
How will you be able to contribute to the growth and improvement of APSE as an organization?
I have a strong background and knowledge of VR and ID/DD systems as well as the education system. I have built strong collaborative partnerships at both the local and state levels in my state, and I believe it is key to ensuring individuals with the most significant disabilities have opportunities to seek employment. In my experience, and through demonstration projects, we have uncovered systemic barriers and found ways to work through them. I believe I can bring that expertise and passion to the APSE regional delegate position.
Discuss how you will represent the needs of the chapters in your region on the national board and work to strengthen APSE’s chapter structure.
As I mentioned in previous sections, I work hard to build strong partnerships with others. I believe that because I have a solid foundation and understanding of federal and state programs, I can support chapters in my region to work through barriers they may face.
Tricia Jones-Parkin has over 20-years of experience working with people with disabilities. In 2011, Tricia collaborated to craft the Employment First Language for Utah and has focused on capacity building and systems change efforts to increase the number of people employed and included in their local communities. Tricia was the Employment First Program Administrator at the Division of Services for People with Disabilities and acted as the state lead for Utah’s partnership with the Office of Disability Policy’s Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program Tricia is Customized Employment Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator at Utah State University, funded by the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation, and is also the project director for Utah’s School to Work Inter-agency Transition Initiative funded by the Administration for the Employment Systems Change grant. Tricia was the recipient of APSE’s Dave Hammis award in 2018.