Dermerrick lives in a condominium complex with his mother near various shops and restaurants. Social activities include weekly family dinners on Tuesday nights and church activities on Sunday mornings.
Dermerrick helps his mother a great deal around the house and has done some volunteer work at a thrift store. He is a focused and steady worker and likes to keep busy. He wants a job so that he can eventually move out on his own. His preference is to work in a retail setting where he can help people but insists he would be happy anywhere as long as he can work.
|EMPLOYMENT PROGRESS LEGEND|
|Eligibility - Apply for employment services|
|Assessment - Job preferences are found|
|Job Development- Looking for jobs|
Job Placement- Land the Job
Training- Get trained on the job site by Job Coach
Supports- Job aides and helpful coworkers are found
Fading- Job Coach spends less and less time at job site
Follow Along- Job Coach only needs to stop by twice a month to check up
Dermerrick's Job Path
Assessment: Person Centered Planning
During assessment, the job coaches try to get to know the job seekers and their skills, preferences, interests and needs. The more information the job coaches can obtain at this stage, the more they can focus their future job searches to find the best fit.
During the first assessment meeting, Dermerrick shared his life story. He was born in the northeast but moved to the south when he was 7 years old. While exploring his preferences, he said that his favorite place was the airport. In this video we see a touching moment when he shares why the airport is so special to him. "It's where I started my new life".
Guided by a "person centered" approach, the job coaches chose to have the second assessment meeting at a coffee shop in the airport. Dermerrick is likely to open up more because he is comfortable and happy there.
Assessment:Finding Job Preferences
Apart from volunteering at church functions, Dermerrick's only work related experience is helping his mother at a thrift store. Because he has never had a job, he is hoping for an entry level position and does not really have a preference for a particular kind of work. He "just want(s) to work".
If a job seeker does not have a particular career path in mind, it is important for the job coaches to find out their interests and preferences in order to obtain the best possible job fit. In addition, it is important for the job coaches to find out if there are any jobs that can be ruled out because the job seeker has strong dislikes or other restrictions.
In this video, we see the job coaches ask Dermerrick if there is anything he does not want to do. He clearly states he does not want to be a "sanitation worker". Upon further questioning, he clarifies he does not want to work on a sanitation truck, but would be OK if part of his job duties required him to take out the trash.
Assessment: Planning the Future
Dermerrick is currently living with his mother, but stated that he eventually wants to move out on his own. His primary motivation for finding work is to make enough money to become more independent.
In this video we see Dermerrick and his mother discussing their plans for the future. Although they both want Dermerrick to eventually find his own place to live, he will continue to come back for family dinners, birthdays and holidays. They have both given his future a lot of thought and share the same goal: more independence for Dermerrick while keeping his family ties strong.
Job Development:Planting Seeds
Job Development for Supported Employment is a lot like planting seeds. Some job openings sprout up right away, but the majority need time and care to finally appear weeks, months, maybe even years, later. When there is a job opening, the Employment Specialist finds out more about the position and then choses the best fitting Job Seeker Candidate. She fills out the job application and then visits the employer to tell them they have a candidate and arrange for a meeting. Supported employment works best when the employers are well informed and prepared for how the process works. Job Developers can visit employers even when there aren’t any openings to build and strengthen relationships.
Dermerrick's Employment Specialist started his Job Development with a trip to a mall. They were able to not only find out what kinds of stores interested him but also informally observe his skills in a community environment. He was clearly motivated to work as he asked about job openings and requested job applications wherever he went. His favorite places were an athletic shoe store and the movie theatre.
While some places handed out paper applications, most referred to their applications on-line. So the Employment Specialist returned to the office and began filling out applications based upon the information they obtained during the assessment. Every job application is followed up with a visit to see the hiring manager. This process resulted in more than a few interviews for Dermerrick
Shortly after giving up on the grocery position for Dermerrick, a family owned bakery called the Employment Agency because they wanted to hire some part-time help. They remembered that the agency's Employment Specialist visited them when they first opened a few months earlier. While they did not have any available positions at the time, being a socially responsible establishment they liked the idea of a diverse workforce and the positive benefits it would bring.
The position requires washing dishes, pots and pans, performing maintenance duties and assisting the bakers with food preparation functions as needed. Dermerrick went to the bakery for an interview and got the job! For Dermerrick, it will be a nurturing environment for both his diet and his personal growth.