Employment is a major step in becoming reintegrated into society, which is why it is one of the primary programs of clubhouse. Through job training, transitional and supported employment and eventually individual employment, our members are able to "work through their mental illness." A majority of our members participate in our Transitional Employment program, which are part-time, entry level and time-limited jobs that the members work with the support of job coaches, which are staff of Breakthrough Club. The job coach learns the job in advance then trains the chosen employees on the job, until all parties agree the employee is ready to work alone. If a member is unable to come to work, the job coach will cover the shift free of charge, ensuring that the employer doesn't have to worry about absenteeism. Also, because of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, up to 40% of the first $6,000 of wages paid to our members can be claimed on participating organizations' taxes. Supported employment maintains a relationship with the employer, but the members are hired by the employer and the position is the member's own. As the name implies, Breakthrough Club steps back and provides support for the member. Such support includes benefit counseling, aiding communication with the employer and other employees and negotiating for additional job skill training as needed. Independent employment is the goal of the process. Eventually, our members reach a point where they no longer need the employment support and services we offer. They are fully able to fulfill all job requirements on their own, but the clubhouse remains a home base where they can get advice and support as needed. Since 2003, Breakthrough Club members have earned a combined income of over 1 million dollars and that amount continues to grow as we recruit more local businesses to employ our members. Employment success is an area Breakthrough Club has taken great pride in, being referred to as the "gold standard" in the Wichita area in employment support for persons who have mental illness.
Our current and past transitional employers include: