Visit with a variety of employers about full-time, part-time, intern and/or volunteer positions, attend breakout sessions on job-related topics to ensure employment success and practice hands-on job sampling opportunities. Service organizations offering resources and materials for people who are unemployed or underemployed will also be present.
JOB FAIR SCHEDULE
9:30 - 10:10 a.m.
Hiring Fair and 1st Breakout Session
10:20 - 11:00 a.m.
Hiring Fair and 2nd Breakout Session
11:00 - 12:20 p.m.
Luncheon & Keynote Presentation * Lunch Provided with Advanced Registration
12:20 - 12:30 p.m.
12:30 - 1:10 p.m.
Hiring Fair and 3rd Breakout Session
1:10 - 2:00 p.m.
BREAKOUT SESSIONS (subject to change)
Job Readiness…Am I ready? Determining If you are "ready" to go to work, especially If you have not had a job, can be challenging and a bit scary. This session will focus on preparing for employment, regarding Interviewing, employer expectations, and work rules. Presented by Rachita Sharma
Skills for the Future: Both soft skills and independent living skills are the key to employment success. Participants will be able to identify essential skills needed to be successful in any workplace or home environment. Exercises will be provided to engage participants In demonstrating appropriate work and independent living behaviors. Presented by Elias Mpofu
Role Playing Session: Participants will learn the do’s and don’ts of interviewing and participate in mock interviews which provide an opportunity to practice their skills and receive immediate feedback. Presented by Ryan Appleton and Ryan Cole
Money Matters: Attendees will engage in an overview of the Money Smart curriculum through FDIC to increase understanding of how to manage money by preparing a personal spending plan and identifying ways to decrease spending and increase income. Presented by Brandi Levington
The Future Looks Bright: Know How to Prepare for College and Work More individuals are entering the workforce and attending college than ever before. It is important to make sure you are ready for this important transition. Participants will learn how they can best prepare and the skills needed to enter the world of work and college settings. Presented by Mindy Lingo
Problem Solving on the Job: Participants will discuss one of the most valuable assets that employers like to see in employees: problem-solving. They will discover ways to improve their problem solving and how effective communication is key. Presented by Lucy Gafford
First Impressions Matter: Learn about the importance of first impressions in professional and personal lives. Attendees will practice skills such as introducing themselves, shaking hands and making small talk in ways that project a positive self-image. Presented by Rebecca Cagle
Hot Jobs, Career Choices: Participants will review labor market data for the state and compare this to student interest for jobs. Session will showcase the new, updated and free career education tools and services available. Presented by Malissa Barnes
Disclosure and Self-Advocacy: To advocate for oneself, a person needs to understand their disability and what assistance they need to accomplish identified tasks. This session will help with the participant understanding different types of disclosure, as well as determining what to disclose. Participants will have an opportunity to practice disclosure skills through role-play exercises. By Brandi Levingston
Certificates of Attendance Available for All Registrants.
University of Oklahoma
Mindy is a doctoral candidate in special education at the University of Oklahoma and will complete her dissertation this spring. She is currently the Program Coordinator for Sooner Works, an inclusive post-secondary program for individuals with an intellectual disability at the university. Her research interests include transition education, post-secondary education options for students with intellectual disabilities, and behavioral interventions.
Rebecca Cagle, M.S., ATHS is a Senior Trainer for UNTWISE. She comes to us from the UNT Office of Disability Accommodation where “Becky” was the student services coordinator and oversaw the Text Conversion and Assistive Technology. She has experience working in post-secondary disability services since 1996 and has taught high school students with learning disabilities. Becky holds a master’s in Assistive Technology & Human Services from California State University at Northridge, received her bachelor’s in Rehabilitation Science from UT Southwestern Medical Allied Health Sciences, and obtained a certificate in Life Care Planning. Becky is an IAAP Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC). She is active in several rehabilitation-accessibility memberships and is the advisor for the MeanGreen Lions Club.
Lucy is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor with a master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from UNT. She was previously employed by the state VR agency in Texas for 11.5 years where she served as a transition vocational rehabilitation counselor, a unit program specialist, and an area manager. In her time with Vocational Rehabilitation she participated in many committees and task forces including the DARS Transition Taskforce and the Texas DRS Leadership Academy. Currently, Lucy is the director of UNTWISE, a training and consultancy program housed in the College of Health and Public Service at UNT. Training and mentoring staff continues to be a passion so she has served as an adjunct professor for the department of Rehabilitation and Health Services for the past decade. Lucy also enjoys working with businesses to improve diversity initiatives in relation to hiring people with disabilities and continues to develop relationships and programs in this arena.
University of North Texas
Dr. Rachita Sharma is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor and the Clinical Director in the department of Rehabilitation and Health Services at the University of North Texas where she supervises the clinical training of graduate and undergraduate students. She earned her Doctoral degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, her Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling Psychology from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and her Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Psychology from University of Texas at Dallas. As a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor in the state of Texas and a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Rachita has extensive experience working in the field of mental health and disability adjustment.
Rachita’s previous work experiences have involved working at the inpatient psychiatric unit of Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, the Assessment Clinic of Parkland Hospital in Dallas, the Traumatic Brain Injury clinic of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington DC, the Counseling and Psychological Services Center and Veterans Center of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. Rachita is an active member of several organizations at National, State, and Local levels, serving as a Board member for 2 such organizations and as the 2019 President for the Texas Rehabilitation Association. She also provides pro-bono counseling and supervision services for Chetna- an organization that provides services for victims of domestic violence within the South Asian community in the Dallas Fort-Worth metroplex.
University of North Texas
My name is Elias Mpofu, and would like to welcome you to Skills for the Future interactive workshop. We will explore essential skills needed to be successful in any workplace or home environment utilizing exercises for demonstrating appropriate work and Independent living behaviors. To start us off, I will tell you a bit about myself. I am Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation and Health Services at the University of North Texas. My direct service roles in job placement and development include with the Program for Assertive Community Treatment (Madison-WI), Club House placement, One-stop vocational rehabilitation services, Correctional services (Madison-WI), Community engaged learning, and the Life-Link-PSU program (State College, PA). I have also served on advisory boards of organizations of and for people with disabilities, nationally and internationally.
Dr. Brandi Darensbourge Levingston
University of North Texas
Brandi Darensbourg Levingston, Ph.D., CRC is a Principal Lecturer and Director of Rehabilitation Programs at the University of North Texas (UNT) in the Department of Rehabilitation and Health Services. She received her doctoral degree in Special Education, with a concentration in Rehabilitation Counseling, from the University of Texas at Austin in 2008 and her master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in 2004. She has experience in the area of rehabilitation as both an educator and service provider. She was previously employed as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor with college students with disabilities for the state of Texas. She has also worked at the University of Texas at Austin in the Student Emergency Services Office. Her professional interests include: cultural competence, emergency preparedness of people with disabilities, psychosocial aspects of disability, students with disabilities in postsecondary education, and employment of persons with disabilities, specifically people with blindness or visual-impairments.
Ryan graduated from the University of North Texas with his Master's Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling in August of 2012 and he is credentialed as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC). Ryan strives to make a difference in other people’s lives. He is motivated and knowledgeable in helping people with disabilities achieve their vocational needs based off of their needs, skills, abilities, and interests. Ryan has a strong background assisting individuals with disabilities with employment services. He was previously a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) and he is well versed when it comes to networking with employers, developing partnerships with businesses, and providing disability training. He provided job placement and supported employment services for Quest Employment Services for over 5 years. Ryan was also a crucial part in the development and implementation of training programs for people with disabilities such as the Walgreens REDI program and Project Search.
Although Ryan is well versed with a variety of disabilities, Ryan’s true passion lies in his strong understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorders from his time working at the DFW Center for Autism, Easter Seals North Texas, and the Autism Treatment Center. He looks forward to serving his community and assisting others in the pursuit of empowerment and independence.
Texas Workforce Commission
Malisa Barnes is an Education Outreach Specialist at Texas Workforce Commission in the Labor Market Career Information (LMCI) department where she shares the free resources available from LMCI and works with students to help them make better informed career decisions. Malisa has worked as a Career & Technology teacher for several years as well as most recently helped students as a high school counselor where she was most passionate about helping students with their post-secondary planning. Please email or go to to contact Malisa.
Thank you to our Professional and Occupational Sponsors for supporting the CapeAbilities Job Fair!
Amerigroup, An Anthem Company
Cook Children's Health Plan