Employment First (E1st) Community Liaison

Central Arkansas Disability Services is excited to announce our new position in the state of Arkansas, serving as the Employment First Community Liaison. This position is unique to the state for this role will mainstream the concept of Employment First, and establish working relationships with legislators, community stakeholders, and disability rights to advocate and promote legislation to ensure economic and social equity for individualities living with disabilities under the initiative of Arkansas Employment First.

Employment First means raising the expectation that all working age Arkansans with disabilities can work, want to work, and can achieve competitive integrated employment with competitive wages before being offered other supports and services.

This position will lead the initiative to build and strengthen partnerships and collaborations with community provider agencies, external state holders, Arkansas State and Federal Legislative Body, and Community agencies. The E1st Liaison will manage and motivate staff/team and ensure strong programming and financial standing within the department.


Defines and Champions the Vision, Mission, and Strategies of E1st

  • This position reports to the CADS, Inc. director and interfaces with Arkansas APSE E1stCommittee.

  • Gives direction to the formulation of the organization’s long-range vision, mission, and strategic plan, ensuring consistent and timely progress of annual goals and objectives consistent with the E1st organization’s mission.

  • Provides access, advocacy, and resources to Individuals with disabilities, with a specific focus on supports for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities, individuals with behavioral health, dual diagnosis and their families facilitating supported decision-making.

  • Ensures E1st has a thriving future in forefront of the state of Arkansas economic development, including state employment service agencies, external stakeholders, and supporters for alignment on the vision.

  • Ensures best practice in employment service delivery.

  • Ensures CADS maintains a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion with staff, persons centered supports, and providers.


Charts the direction, and drives for results

  • Ensures the E1st component of the organization makes a difference, delivers on its vision, mission, and promises, resulting in genuine social impact, and is a good steward of resources and constantly striving to improve.

  • Builds strategic relationships with elected officials, state agencies and other decisionmakers who impact employment opportunities, and funding for individuals with disabilities.

  • Develops appropriate policies and procedures for operational and administrative activities as needed and reviews program results to ensure employment outcomes.

  • Manages daily operations of the E1st office.


Provides External Leadership and Advocacy

  • Serves as chief spokesperson for the E1st Community Initiative maintaining positive public relations and promoting community integration.

  • Collaborates with partner agencies and organizations to develop E1st educational and training programs to establish community engagement, knowledge of employment first, and promote best practices.

  • Trains and educates the community and state employment specialists to expand awareness, knowledge, and advocacy efforts leading to employment.

  • Promotes the participation of people with IDD in employment first activities.

  • Advocates legislative and policy changes that cultivate inclusive integrated employment.


Manages Organization Resources:


  • Partner with the AR APSE E1st Committee develop onboarding and training programs for the organization.

  • Builds and champions a positive corporate culture that is inclusive, diverse, and equitable.

  • Supervises and evaluate of all related personnel to include interns and volunteers.


Financial Stewardship

  • Builds strong internal fiscal controls to maximize cost efficiency and comply with state and federal guidelines.

  • Supports activities related to development and management of the sustainable capital and operating budget.


Qualifications and Experience:


  • Bachelor’s Degree, preferably in Public Administration Social Services, Social Work, Special Education, Sociology, Political Science, Vocational Rehabilitation, or Psychology and/or significant related work or lived experience may substitute.

  • Knowledge of legislative process, social justice advocacy, and building relationships with elected officials.

  • Strong knowledge of EDI compliance.

  • Five or more years of experience working with public officials, policy makers and administrators. Extensive experience in long-range planning, contract development, budget preparation, fiscal management and effecting legislative impact.

  • Significant knowledge of the Arkansas programs funded through Medicaid Waiver PASSE programs, the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities, Division of Adult, Aging and Behavioral Health Services, Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, Division of Services for the Blind, Division of Workforce Services, including other state agencies focused on employment for individuals with disabilities, their regulations, state/federal transportation funding and grant management preferred.

  • A visionary who can inspire, “think outside the box”, and unite a coalition for system change and the implementation of the statewide E1st initiative.

  • Ability to build relationships with state and federal legislative constituents for impacting employment services and funding for individuals with disabilities.

  • Ability to build relationships with the community, service providers, and employers.

  • Excellent communication and people skills.

  • Must possess strong writing and organizational skills.

  • Proficiency in MS Office programs (Word, Outlook, Access, PowerPoint, and Excel) and videoconferencing programs such as Zoom required. Must have some knowledge of accessibility guidelines for presentations, documents and, formats for on-line learning.



The projected compensation range for this individual will be competitive and in accordance with the background and experience of the selected candidate.

This is a full-time position with benefits.


CADS is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.

Arkansans with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. While fully COVID vaccinations are not required, it is strongly preferred.

“This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by the employee(s) incumbent in this position. Employees will be required to follow any other job-related instructions and to perform any other job-related duties requested by any person authorized to give instructions or assignments. All duties and responsibilities are essential functions and requirements are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities. To perform this job successfully, the incumbents will possess the skills, aptitudes, and abilities to perform each duty proficiently. This document does not create an employment contract, implied or otherwise, other than an “at will” state."

Application Submission Options:

(a)For interested applicants, please upload your professional resume and a cover letter of interest at https://www.dropbox.com/request/k8OPXKXWdnX8oEwHphPq.

(b)A copy of this job description along with the above documents can also be mailed to:

ATTN: Pamela Cross

E1ST Community Liaison

201 West Broadway Street, Suite M

North Little Rock, AR 72114

(c) If you are uploading via a job hiring site, please follow all instructions.

If you are unable to complete this application due to a disability, contact this employer to ask for an accommodation or an alternative application process. P: 501.537.1080

All information must be uploaded to the Dropbox, applied through our online job mediums, or received via mail by September 21, 2022 at 4:30PM.