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Equipping Leaders to Better Prepare Children & Youth for College, Careers, & Citizenship

Randy Loss, MA, CRC, OWDS, GCDF

Randy Loss, MA, CRC, OWDS, GCDF

Senior Technical Assistance Liaison
Vocational Rehabilitation Youth Technical Assistance Center (Y-TAC)

Headshot: Randy LossRandy came to IEL in 2017. He works with the Vocational Rehabilitation Youth Technical Assistance Center (Y-TAC) as a senior technical assistance liaison. He provides direct support tonumerous state vocational rehabilitation agencies (SVRAs) seeking to improve service delivery to transition-age youth. As a subject matter expert on cocational rehabilitation (VR) and transition-age youth, he develops and implements training and other technical assistance based on SVRA needs. In turn, he uses evidencepromising research, policies, and practices to enhance SVRA service delivery to opportunity youth, including youth with disabilities.

Randy came to IEL from the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (PA OVR), where he served 16 years as a statewide manager over several program areas. Randy also performed various roles in his previous position with several partners. He served as his agency liaison to numerous Pennsylvania state departments in aneffort to serve many populations with disabilities in gaining lifesustaining employment. He developed several memorandae of understanding (MOUs) with partnering agencies to increase service delivery to youth and adults with disabilities. He facilitated the funding of several programs such as a Certified Peer Specialist training for individuals with mental health challenges. He also developed an MOU with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to speed the VR eligibility process by providing critical documentation at no cost to PA OVR.

In the past few years, Randy provided a series of nationally recognized trainings known as the Offender Workforce Development Specialist (OWDS) and its complementary training, the Reentry Employment Specialist (RES). This series of trainings developed several high-level collaborations between PA OVR and other state agencies. The most exciting opportunity coming from this training series was a blended funding MOU with the PA Bureau of Juvenile Justice Services (BJJS). This MOU created in 2017 allowed a combined funding of 3.1 million dollars annually to be used to provide VR services to opportunity youth in the juvenile justice system. This MOU is in effect for five years, bringing it to a total of over 15 million dollars. Another funding MOU was developed with the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) for a total of $235,000. This 2017 MOU created a Certified Peer Specialist training for individuals who use ASL, the first of its kind nationally. Funding from this MOU is also dedicated to developing a Fairweather Lodge in Johnstown, PA at the Hiram G. Andrews Center Commonwealth Training Center.

Randy has a long history in VR with a variety of disability populations. He worked with Experience Works, Inc., a Senior Community Employment Service Program (SCESP) which provided relevant work training skills in a paid internship format to individuals 55 and older. This program offered dedicated workers opportunities to gain recent work history to enable them to launch into competitive employment in their community. He also performed the duties of a job coach in a community rehabilitation program (CRP). He assisted individuals who had a variety of disabilities, but who all had great work potential and attitude.

Randy was also a case manager for the county-level agency that supported individuals with intellectual disabilities. He held a caseload of over 100 individuals and sought to ensure their safety, happiness and health. He worked with a variety of service providers to learn effective methods in ethical and individualizing treatment of those with ID. He additionally worked in a sheltered workshop as an early work experience. It was at this facility that he learned that a lot of great individuals had the ability to work in the community with the proper support and encouragement. He believes everyone has work potential that can be cultivated with appropriate support and it is important to help others find what they possess and help them display it in an employment setting.

He holds a Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling from George Washington University and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. He holds additional credentials in dealing with individuals with criminal records who are seeking employment. He has the Offender Workforce Development Specialist (OWDS) certification from the National Institute of Corrections. He also has his Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) certification which designates he is trained to help people, both individually and in a group setting, make informed decisions when considering their own career development. He has conducted trainings in several states and to a variety of audiences in efforts to teach collaboration for common clients, individuals with disabilities seeking employment.