With the support of a career planning
process and her family and friends, Dusty was able follow her dream. She enrolled in a theater class, took a course at a local college, and made use of creative funding to develop her own business. In 2006, Dusty’s Puppets became a reality. Dusty entertains young children with puppet shows at birthday parties, local farmers’ markets, daycare centers, and schools.
Chad is a man in his 20s who enjoys physical jobs, is outgoing and loves baking. He hoped to find a job that would keep him very busy without being too fast-paced and would allow him to be social, interacting with and helping customers. As Chad began a bakery job, although the job tasks were a perfect match for his interests, the fast pace, the structure, and the change in management were not. Instead of giving up, Chad found another position where the pace and customer interaction matched his skills and personality. He now works full time with full benefits
Reid was one of the first people hired through the Work Independence Network (WIN)* pilot project. Reid has great social skills but limited communication skills. Prior to becoming involved with the pilot project in 2004, he was deemed "unemployable" by administrators in the school and vocational rehabilitation systems. Thanks to his own initiative and to some creative thinking by his job developer
and job coach
, Reid now works approximately 16 hours per week at the Rehabilitation Clinic at Harrison Hospital, where he cleans equipment, maintains the pool, play, and therapy areas, and stocks linens.
Emilea lives in a small town in Iowa. She loves spending time with her family and her pets, CeCe and Harley. She also owns and operates her own coffee shop, Em's Coffee Company. With the support of her family, Emilea planned for a career and then used local contacts and several funding streams to start her own business.
Brenda is a woman in her 30s who has been working at the Fitness Plus gym for about two years. She works there twice a week, completing a list of tasks to keep the gym clean and organized, including putting away equipment. To obtain this job, Brenda’s job developer
assessed the employer's needs and showed Brenda's ability to meet those needs. Together Brenda, the job developer and the employer carved out a new position.
Jackson and Anna both live in Davis, CA, where they grew up and went to junior high school together. They have busy lives volunteering in their community, and both say that they relate well to kids.
With help from their job coaches and support teams, and with regular meetings about self-employment
, Jackson and Anna were each able to explore their talents, try out business ideas, and eventually decide to become business partners.
Corey Alley, who lives in Millinocket, Maine, loves being out in the community, volunteering for service organizations, and participating in sports and recreational activities. For the past six years, he has provided a service to the town through his business, Alley's Recycling. The business accommodates his schedule and makes recycling a quick and easy process for his customers.
Lisa is a certified lifeguard and swim instructor at the YMCA in Fairfield, Connecticut. After much success as a competitive swimmer in the Special Olympics, Lisa transferred her skills to a career at the YMCA. As a lifeguard, Lisa tests chemical levels in the water and looks after swimmers by surveying the pool during swim sessions. As a swim instructor, Lisa prepares for class sessions and teaches group swim lessons. With support from her supervisor, coworkers, and family, Lisa earned and maintains the necessary certifications for her job, successfully carries out her work responsibilities, and has earned the reputation of being a responsible, detail-oriented, and dedicated employee at the YMCA.
Eddie Alley has worked at Little Caesars, the pizza restaurant chain, since last summer. Several factors helped Eddie to find a position that was a good fit. First, he participated in a job tryout before he started to work. Also, he and his employer were flexible and willing to try new things. Finally, the employer had a long and positive connection with Eddie's job developer