Occ. Code 5216500


New York State Department of Civil Service

Classification Standard


Workshop Specialists are professionals responsible for the business management and operations of sheltered employment programs, work activity centers, and affirmative business enterprises in facilities or community programs operated by the Office of Mental Health.

Incumbents provide contractual, administrative, and fiscal management services in areas such as business planning, contract procurement, quality control, worksite engineering, production coordination, product development, and inventory control, and designing work force training programs.


One Workshop Specialist is typically classified for each psychiatric center with a sheltered employment program of 20 to 40 clients participating in the program. A second position may be classified at centers that have larger or more complex operations, operate multi-product or geographically separate sheltered employment programs, and have more than 40 clients participating in the program.


Supervisors, Rehabilitation Services, Grade 23, and Supervisors, Rehabilitation Services (Vocational), Grade 23, are clinical supervisory classes responsible for overall development, management, supervision, and coordination of comprehensive vocational rehabilitation services departments and their components, including sheltered workshop programs.
Rehabilitation Counselors 2, Grade 19, are first-level providers who provide psychosocial, residential, and competency training services to clients or conduct evaluations of client vocational potential, determine client readiness for vocational rehabilitation services, and counsel clients to assist them while they are in the program.

Rehabilitation Counselors 1, Grade 17, provide direct and indirect beginning professional level rehabilitation services to clients in psychosocial support and residential, vocational, and competency training programs.

Rehabilitation Assistants 2, Grade 14, are second-level paraprofessionals that assist in the vocational and social rehabilitation of clients. They conduct preliminary evaluations of clients' potential and existing capacities and interests, assess clients' ability to follow directions and work with equals and supervisors, and, following the approval of the Rehabilitation Counselor 1, independently plan and conduct individual and group vocational rehabilitation programs. As directed, they also provide on-the-job training to Rehabilitation Assistants 1.


Plans, organizes, and supervises one or more Sheltered Program.

Develops and services contracts for sheltered employment activities.

- Solicits and secures contracts from area businesses and agencies to supply specific product or product components.

Supervises staff responsible for quality control and inventory control.

Performs required business, personnel, and financial activities to support the sheltered employment program.

Assumes responsibility for the sheltered employment program in the absence of the Supervisor, Rehabilitation Services.

Participates in the development and implementation of vocational rehabilitation programs by identifying clients for sheltered employment, evaluating clients' overall abilities and skill levels, and developing goals and objectives for participants.


Under the general supervision of the Supervisor of Rehabilitation Services (Vocational), Workshop Specialists have primary responsibility for the entire business practices of the facility's sheltered workshop and work activity operations, including any affirmative business enterprise, and make decisions independently with respect to their programs.


Workshop Specialists are responsible for maintaining high efficiency in manufacturing operations, developing a sound wage and price structure, marketing workshop products, and maintaining a steady flow of work for clients with handicapping conditions. They also assist in the development of suitable work opportunities for clients who are ready for competitive employment.


Workshop Specialists communicate orally and in writing with clients, individuals in business, and clinical and rehabilitation program staff about the production requirements, delivery schedules, quality control issues, and financial matters of the workshop. They also prepare written information about workshop programs and operations for public release.


Workshop Specialists typically supervise and coordinate the floor operation of a large work activity or sheltered work program, including staff assigned to production, transportation, clerical, and secretarial functions and client workers with widely different skill levels.



Open Competitive

Five years of experience in a sheltered workshop or affirmative business enterprise (an employment program under the auspices of the NYS Office of Mental Health operated as a business, store-front operation in the community) employing individuals diagnosed with mental illness. Job responsibilities must have included all of the following: (1) developing markets for materials produced in prime manufacturing settings; (2) procuring contracts to produce a product or supply a service; (3) coordinating production and development products; and (4) managing the quality control of produced and assembled products and services.


A Bachelor's Degree may be substituted for two years of the required five years of experience.

At least 50% of the individuals employed in the sheltered workshop enterprise must have been diagnosed with mental illness.

Date: 9/96



NOTE: For current information on minimum qualifications contact the Division of Staffing Services.