Career Pathways

Have you heard about DARS’ Pathways to Careers (P2C) program?

Pathways to Careers is a program managed by the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) that connects Virginians with disabilities to meaningful careers and job training programs. Activities are currently available for the counties and cities that the following DARS Office Serve:

  • Alexandria
  • Danville/South Boston
  • Hampton/Williamsburg
  • Petersburg
  • Abington/Norton
  • Fairfax
  • Harrisonburg
  • Portsmouth
  • Christiansburg/Wytheville
  • Richmond
  • Lynchburg
  • Winchester

What is Pathways to Careers?

Pathways to Careers (P2C) connects Virginians with disabilities to the education, training, and industry-recognized credentials they need to secure good, high-demand jobs. Focusing on career opportunities in high-growth industry sectors, our specialized counselors work directly with jobseekers with disabilities to help them secure marketable credentials, qualify for skilled jobs, and earn a livable wage. The program is managed by DARS through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, in close partnership with the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI).

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Career Seekers

Explore your career pathway

Your counselor will work with you to assist in:

  • Counseling and career planning
  • Developing an individual employment plan
  • Assessing job readiness skills
  • Developing resume
  • Identifying credentials or certifications needed
  • Prepping for GED, adult education
  • Finding internships/work experiences
  • Preparing for job search
  • Identifying supports or assistive technology needed

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How do I develop a Career Plan?

  • Self-Exploration. Analyze your talents and interests, make a list
  • Career Exploration. Analyze jobs available, what they pay and the skills and education needed
  • Identify jobs where your talent and interests meet in-demand occupations
  • Develop a tentative career plan with a pathway that includes education, training and credentials. Your DARS and DBVI counselors can help
  • Pursue your goals

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The following resources help lead you on your career pathway, including what jobs are in demand in Virginia, what training is required and where you can find the necessary training or education.

WWRC Manufacturing Technology Training
Career Index Plus
Virginia Community Colleges' Industry Credentials
Virginia CareerExplorer
Virginia Workforce Connection

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Not connected with DARS or DBVI?
Contact us to get connected today.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are Career Pathways?

Virginia’s vocational rehabilitation agencies offer individuals with disabilities a new way to navigate their career. CP encourages people to attain marketable career credentials, qualify for skilled jobs and earn a livable wage.


What jobs will be targeted?

CP targets Virginia’s high-growth industry sectors, identifies advanced credentials and provides work-based training programs. Industries include advanced manufacturing, logistics and information technology.


What opportunities are there for young adults?

Discover the opportunities available with VR Transition and Pre-Employment Transition Services


Who makes a good candidate for training?

Participants should be working with or potentially eligible for vocational rehabilitation services through DARS or DBVI.


Why is it important to earn credentials?

Manufacturing credentials including Manufacturing Technician, Manufacturing Specialist, OSHA 10 and Career Readiness Certification are desired and often required by many businesses so it will increase job opportunities.

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windmills logo Join us for Disability Awareness Inclusion Training

These online trainings provide employees with an opportunity to challenge your perceptions of Individuals with disabilities. If your organization is interested in additional trainings, including an in-person training, please reach out to the DARS Business Development Manager in your location. This listing can be found here - DARS - Business Services - Meet the Team

To access out 2023 list of Free virtual trainings, click here
**Pathways provides SHRM Recertification and HRCI credit for Human Resource professionals.

Virginia's Vocational Rehabilitation agencies can provide a pipeline of skilled, credentialed individuals with disabilities who are ready to work. They can help meet your hiring needs including diversity and federal contractor requirements.

Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitation Services has dedicated business development Managers who can assist employers with recruiting, screening , training and retention.

Learn how you can Put Ability to Work in your business.


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Training & Activities

CP 2020 Summer Academies

Check out the post secondary training opportunities at the Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center.
This residential facility provides training options to individuals with disabilities in the state of Virginia. If you are interested contact your Vocational Rehabilitation counselor or local VR office

Like to listen to podcasts?

The VR Workforce Studio highlights vocational rehabilitation stories here in Virginia.

The VR Workforce Studio website and podcast focuses on Individuals with Disabilities and stories of employment including training and education, vocational rehabilitation and celebrates the champions of employment who hire people with disabilities as well as vocational rehabilitation professionals and the work they do to create hope and a path forward to employment for people with disabilities so they can work and lead better lives.

Explore and listen to podcasts at

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Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Counselors

Vocational Rehabilitation counselors are an important referral source for CP services. They can help Identify potential candidates seeking employment – from transition age to adults.

Consult with consumer and counselor

  • Discuss involving information regarding local LMI, certifications available, training opportunities and academics needed.

Assist with career exploration

  • Work with area VR counselors to set up opportunities for students.
  • Consider tours of manufacturers, colleges and/or secondary schools

Academy Information

  • Supply list of academies/camps available in the area
  • Assist with application, paperwork and possible funding. 

Assist with Accommodations

  • Discuss assistive technology currently using and lending options available.
  • Funded by self-pay, school provided, CP or VR in field.

Assist with career assessment/exploration

  • Discuss Career Pathways in advanced manufacturing, IT and healthcare.
  • Explore achievement/aptitude results and interest.
  • Either funded by CP or VE in field.
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Virginia CP and a DEMAND SIDE APPROACH: Developing Career Pathways While Meeting Business Needs

This is the third of a four-part webinar series on Career Pathways. This pre-recorded Webinar will cover specific strategies from the Virginia Career Pathways. Items addressed during the webinar include:

  • How the Virginia Career Pathways approach has infused assistive technology to improve credential attainment and employment outcomes for participants.

  • How to identify assistive technology devices used in modern manufacturing, logistics, and information technology or IT, and understand how participants can use these devices in their own agencies.

  • Understanding how self-regulation and sensory assistive technology can help individuals learn and enhance their ability to focus.

  • Understanding how a CP assistive technology partnership model has been developed for sustainability and how they can use a similar model in their agency.

This webinar is hosted by the Career Pathways, or CP project in Virginia, including the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired, and the George Washington University Center for Rehabilitation Counseling, Research, and Education.

This webinar is close captioned and a transcript is available. You can also obtain CRC credit by viewing the webinar and completing the evaluation.

You can view this webinar at

WIOA, Career Pathways, & Pre-Employment Transition Services Webinar

Register for this Webinar on WIOA, Career Pathways, & Pre-Employment Transition Services. Presentation materials are available for download once registered. CRC credits (1) will be awarded upon completion and submission of your evaluation. This Webinar is pre-recorded and available on demand which means participants can view this recording at any time.

If you have any questions or need additional information please contact Brenda Simmons,, or at 816.739.7648.

Co-Enrollment Webinar

View a webinar on how WIOA co-enrollment programs benefit consumers.

CP and a Demand Side Approach Webinar

View a webinar focusing on activities that illustrate how CP has successfully engaged business with our initiatives and outcomes resulting from those activities.

CP VR Counselor Training

View a series of PowerPoint slides used during a 1-day VR Counselor training by CP staff and George Washington University.

For more information on Career Pathways

Contact or

You can find and download additional CP forms and resources in the Document Repository

VR Workforce Studio

VR Workforce Studio logoListen to the latest podcast from VR Workforce Studio, featuring interviews with the CP staff.

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Resource Library

Career Pathways for Individuals with Disabilities Sustainability Guide


Best Practice Series


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Virginia’s Career Pathways (CP) grant is a federally-funded grant project (CFDA #84.235N) through the Department of Education. The content of this website does not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.)

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