New initiative to lead to independent jobs

October 9, 2017

By Armando Camacho, President & CEO

Served by Opportunity Partners-Karlins Center, Greg sometimes struggled with changes in routine and social interactions. But when Greg landed his first independent, community job at McDonalds, his confidence soared. “I’m trying to be an inspiration to a lot of other people and hoping they can get to where my level is and get their own job.” Congratulations, Greg!

Greg’s success proves that people with disabilities deserve an opportunity to show what they can do. Working independently – while perhaps not possible for everyone – is possible for many people. This success often depends on many factors: an individual’s ability and desire to work, supportive families and teams, and encouraging employers. When everyone works together, we can open minds and change lives.

Changing attitudes
In addition to people with disabilities being more fully integrated into workplaces and communities today, society’s views of people with disabilities as a whole are changing. Television, movies and ads highlight people with disabilities, and an active self-advocacy movement showcases people with disabilities standing up for themselves and leading self-directed lives.

Family expectations are changing, too. At Opportunity Partners, we are seeing more young adults with disabilities coming out of school with dreams of working independently and goals of finding the best, most direct path to make that dream become reality. Opportunity Partners is here to help, and we need the community’s continued support to keep moving forward.

Underemployment and labor shortages
Experts are predicting a slowing labor force growth in our state, and many industries already struggle to fill positions. Yet a recent survey of Minnesotans receiving services from disability agencies found that just 1 in 4 has a paid job in the community. Of those without a paid job in the community, more than half said they would like to work. With 1 in 10 Minnesotans having a disability and the clear underemployment of people with disabilities, we can all work together to help meet labor needs and create opportunities for people who want to work.

Pilot project underway
To address this situation, we launched a new initiative last year called Together Works Better which blends innovation and inclusion to lead to jobs for people with disabilities. We’re currently working on several pilot projects – the first of which is a peer mentoring internship due to launch in early 2018.

In an effort to promote inclusivity, participating businesses will identify a peer mentor among their staff to provide on-the-job supports to a person with disabilities (intern). The peer mentor will meet regularly with an Opportunity Partners staff person for training and support during the three-week or three-month internship. Our goal is for interns to transition into permanent jobs at the conclusion of their internship. We’re excited about the opportunities this project will bring, and we ask for your support.

We are seeking a few more business partners as we prepare to launch the pilot. If you are interested in hosting an intern at your workplace, please contact Josh Grinolds at 952-930-4203 for more information.

Opening Minds. Changing Lives. Together. Join us on this exciting journey!

Posted in Blog, Blog show on home

Opportunity Partners is proud to celebrate NDEAM

For many people with disabilities, employment is one big step toward independence. Be a part of our conversation using  #NDEAM as we celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month this October!


Frank at General Mills

Frank’s dedication, focus and high energy make him the ideal candidate for a mail associate position at General Mills through Xerox.

“My time at General Mills has been awesome since I first started there in 2007 – it has been almost 10 years!” Frank said, adding that he has learned many new tasks over the years. “Working on those projects made me feel like a part of a team and teamwork is what got those projects done.”

Frank originally worked as part of a contracted supported team through Opportunity Partners and in March 2017 he was offered an independent position. “I felt proud,” he said. “It’s awesome. I like the people.”

He knows his job well and thrives in the busy environment where he scans documents, handles mail and packages, and makes deliveries throughout the enormous General Mills campus. Processing 6,000-plus pieces of incoming and outgoing mail each day and roughly 300 packages, on top of countless other duties, Frank moves through his day with speed and precision. “He’s amazing. He does a great job,” said site supervisor Barb Smith.

Frank shows great determination in order to succeed in an independent position, traveling on two city buses two hours each way to get from his home in Eden Prairie to his job in Golden Valley.

Barb says Frank sets a great example for his peers, who look up to him. He serves as a resource to less experienced team members and trains in new hires.

When not working, Frank enjoys superheroes and sports, especially baseball, football and wrestling.


Rochelle at Lunds and Byerlys

For Rochelle, working at Lunds & Byerlys brings an opportunity to showcase her skills while connecting with the community. “I like the people and managers and customers,” she said. “I see people I know from church and the community.”

Rochelle has been a proud Lunds & Byerlys employee for 20 years, first at the St. Louis Park store and now at the 50th Street Edina location. She attributes her amazing longevity to liking her job and the people she encounters each day, from co-workers to customers.

She works a variety of tasks from carrying out and bagging groceries to cleaning in her 23-26 hours each week. She even placed third in a bagging contest at her store.

“I like this job because I meet new people,” Rochelle said. “I’m dedicated. I give the customers what they want.” When she’s not working, Rochelle enjoys traveling and softball. Congratulations, Rochelle, on your hard work and dedication!

We would also like to salute Lunds & Byerlys for being such a strong partner of ours over the years. Many individuals served by Opportunity Partners have experienced employment success at Lunds and Byerlys across the Twin Cities. Thank you, Lunds & Byerlys!


Greg at McDonald’s

For many folks at Opportunity Partners – Karlins Center, being independently employed in the community is a dream. Nearly 11 months ago, Greg was the first to turn that dream into reality by getting a job as a Dining Room Attendant at McDonald’s. Service Coordinator Vicki Knott calls him a trailblazer, “We are very proud of him. He’s handled this like a champ.”

Before landing his job at McDonald’s, Greg had worked on several Supported Employment Teams (SETs) as well as on the production floor at Karlins. He worked with Opportunity Partners Job Developer, Carol Glazer to put in an application. Minutes after his interview started, he was hired! He now works four hours, two days a week.

At first, Greg’s only responsibility was cleaning the dining room tables. After proving himself to his managers, they gave him more responsibilities, including working the fryer!

Greg says his favorite part about his job is being able to make his own money. It helps him pay for rent in his apartment that he lives in on his own! One day, Greg hopes he can move into a bigger apartment, maybe with roommates.

Being the first person at Karlins to get an independent job is a big deal! Greg says that he hopes he can be an inspiration to others adding, “I want people to know that it’s amazing and that other people can do it as well as I can.”

In his free time, Greg enjoys bowling, watching reality television, talking to his parents on the phone and staying involved with church.


David at Cub Foods

Several years ago, David was motivated and passionate about getting an independent, community job. He started working with Opportunity Partners’ Job Development team. David put in a lot of hard work toward developing his resume and practicing interviewing. Eventually he landed a job at Cub Foods doing maintenance.

Before getting his independent job, he took part in the janitorial Certified Learning Platform (now called Career Learning Pathways). There he fine-tuned his cleaning skills and learned how to use industrial cleaning equipment. At Cub, he is part of the janitorial staff, answering maintenance calls for the whole store. David has worked in janitorial at Cub for over two years and loves it so much, he does not plan on transferring any time soon.

David works eight hours, three days a week. Working independently has helped David become more independent at home. He currently lives in his own apartment, a place he has called home for over three years. David says it feels good to be independently employed. “Being able to make my own money is phenomenal,” he says. “I’m paying my bills, paying my rent and keeping my lights on.” He plans on going to the Minnesota Twins spring training in Florida next summer.

“I want to tell people looking to get a job to be yourself, be polite and be respectful,” David says. “That will get you really far, far enough to get a job.”

Posted in Events, Events show on home

Introducing Fire Starters!

September 28, 2017

Opportunity Partners has launched its own brand of Fire Starters for bonfires and fireplaces – just in time for cool fall nights ahead.

Now available on Amazon, Fire Starters are sold under the label OP Social Enterprises™ – a division of Opportunity Partners that is operated as a social enterprise for the benefit of a good cause. People with disabilities package the product at various locations around the Twin Cities.

For years, workers at Opportunity Partners have packaged a similar item under other labels but this is the first time the organization has branded one as its own. The organization purchases the wood, wax and other materials and ships them to a disability organization in northern Minnesota, where the sticks are produced and sent back to the Twin Cities to be packaged and labeled. OP Social Enterprises™ Fire Starters are sold in 5, 20 and 100 count packs for $5.49, $9.49 and $29.99.

In addition to being made in Minnesota, the sticks are non-toxic, waterproof, burn completely and all proceeds benefit people with disabilities.

The goal of the endeavor is more about mission than money, said Bill Schultz, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Operations. “By providing training and employment opportunities like this, more people with disabilities can develop their work skills and graduate to independent jobs in the community,” Schultz said. “That helps us meet our mission of advancing the quality of life for people with disabilities.”

Beyond Amazon, OP Social Enterprises™ hopes to collaborate with other retailers and organizations to market the Fire Starters. The Three Rivers Park District purchased 500 packs, labeled with the park logo and shared with campers throughout its parks. Learn more.

Posted in News, News on home, Press Releases

The heart of working for OP

September 25, 2017

By Alyssa Millet, SET Instructor

My name is Alyssa Millett. I’m a SET Instructor and I’ve been with OP for a year and a half. At the Bon Appetit dish room, they scrub dishes, they unload it, they load the dishes, they take the food off the plate on the conveyor belt, they learn how to communicate with the customers when they bring out the cups and replenish the silverware and they communicate with the cooks and we go to the staff meetings.

I teach people served basic skill sets so they can go get an independent job, such as appropriate attendance, appropriate work attire, how to communicate with co-workers. The most rewarding part about my job is at the end of the day when they say thank  you. I love it. They appreciate what we do for them and I appreciate what they do for us. When they get that independent job and they step toward their goal, they’re so appreciative and overwhelmed, it makes me overwhelmed. It’s genuinely rewarding.

What I enjoy most is the humor. It’s never a dull day. There’s always laughter and you can’t enjoy your day without laughter.

Working with someone when they get an independent job is super exciting because they come to you first and they’re like, “I got the job!!!” and it’s super exciting. Seeing that happiness and knowing that you helped them get there fills your heart.

See Alyssa and her team in action in a Day in the Life. OP is always looking for great people to join our team! View our current openings.

Posted in Blog

Direct Support Professional Week – September 10 -16

Happy Direct Support Professional Recognition Week!

In honor of the important work our DSPs do each and every day, here are some extraordinary DSPs we are fortunate enough to have at Opportunity Partners.


Shannon Heier

Shannon has worked at Golden Opportunity as a Learning Options Instructor for three years. He came to Opportunity Partners after having worked previously in the disability sector. Shannon says his favorite thing about his job is the relationships he has built with the people served over the years and their shared experiences. “I have always had a passion for helping people, and in a DSP role, I get that opportunity. As a DSP, you make connections that last a lifetime.”

When asked about Shannon, Program Manager Heather Ofstehage says, “Shannon is compassionate, genuine, and person centered. He cares so much for the individuals we support! Shannon is a great team player, always helping out whenever and wherever needed. He is flexible and happily rearranges his schedule to accommodate last minute changes. Shannon is dependable and has a strong work ethic! Thanks for all you do Shannon!”

Casey Budke

Casey started at Opportunity Partners within the Independent Living Skills program as a Service Coordinator over five years ago. From then she transferred to the prevocational program in Brain Injury Services. She is now an Assistant Program Manager in Mendota Heights. Casey has been working with people with disabilities since she was in college and it has been a passion of hers for a long time.

She says, “I love seeing the people we support achieve their goals. I love visiting with the people we support about their days and seeing the excitement on their face when they have a great day. I also enjoy supporting people through rough days and being a consistent staff member that they can count on. I love hearing funny stories and jokes from the people served – it always seems to brighten my day.”

 

Shirel Paulick

Shirel has been with Opportunity Partners for 15 years! She is currently a Transportation Assistant in our Anoka Day Training and Habilitation program. Before becoming a Direct Support Professional, she did not know much about what a DSP does, but now she says she cannot imagine doing anything else. Her uncle had cerebral palsy and told Shirel that she would be great at taking care of others with disabilities. Therefore, when it was suggested she work at Opportunity Partners, she did! Shirel says her favorite thing about her job is, “improving people’s lives and trying to always put a smile on their face.”

 

Amanda Harris

Amanda is currently an Assistant Program Manager at hoMEbase – Westside. She has been with Opportunity Partners for a little over five years. She has always wanted to help people and make a difference, so when a friend of hers told her about Opportunity Partners, she knew she had to apply!

Amanda says, “I love working with the people served. They make me laugh every day. I don’t always know what to expect but I love it! My job is rarely boring. Seeing all the successes in the lives of the people I support is amazing, both the little everyday successes and the big ones! It is a joy to be able to walk with people in their daily lives in the difficult times and the easier times. I love having fun at work and the people served make my job fun!”

 

Jordan Pearson

Jordan has been with Opportunity Partners for nearly two years. He started in our residential program at Pleasant House in Richfield before moving to the Koch Campus as a Service Coordinator. Working with people with disabilities was something that Jordan started while he was in college. He says, “I was not sure how it would go at first, but I knew I loved it after the first day.” Jordan appreciates that his skills as a Direct Support Professional are valued and that contributes to his love of the work.

“The people I work with both on my caseload and the co-workers that I work with every day are my favorite things about my job. Every day there is something different to look forward to when coming into work. I have built relationships with my caseload and co-workers to the point where we feel supported and comfortable to work side by side as a team and know that we are always there to help each other when needed.”


 

Posted in Blog

Your vocation is not a vacation

August 29, 2017

By Nate Meissner, Vocational Services Intake Coordinator, Manager of Evaluation & Transitions

“The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work” – Thomas Edison

Why do we work?

This is a question my guidance counselor asked me back when iPods had black and white screens. I responded, “It’s how we get our money,” which, for the record, I still believe is a very good reason to work. I ask this same question to the students who participate in Opportunity Partners’ work experience program. Most respond the same way I did when I was their age. However, sometimes I get an answer more noteworthy than my own. One student responded that we work because “it’s how we make things better.”

I sometimes ponder her answer when I meet new students and they explain their employment goals. How can they make things better for themselves first and then for the rest of us?

In our work experience program, students get the opportunity to work for a month at a job site that interests them. Most students are eager to try new experiences so they can determine their vocation. However, occasionally, I meet students who are searching for jobs that must directly correlate with their favorite things and most innate passions. They would like to design video games (but no coding work, please), groom horses (but no cleaning work, please), or take care of people (but no senior care, please). Many of their career goals simply do not exist, but this doesn’t mean they should not pursue their passions and also make things better. It just means we have to redefine passion.

Terri Trespicio proclaims, “Passion is not a job, a sport, or a hobby. It is the full force of your attention and energy that you give to whatever’s right in front of you, and if you are so busy looking for this passion you could miss opportunities that change your life”. Stop searching for your passion

Making things better is work, and most of the time its hard work, but it is worth the effort. I have a lot of hopes and goals for my students. My main goal is for them to experience the significance of work in all of its fluctuations. I hope they come to an understanding that each job brings value to our world in its own distinctive way. Acknowledging the inherent value within every job is far more liberating than searching for the perfect job, because no job will be perfect until our focus is.

This does not mean students should be pushed into careers they have no interest in. It just means we have to encourage each other to take risks, do difficult things, get our hands dirty, fail, and above all be willing to attempt endeavors that might not be the perfect fit. We need to experience the value of the overalls instead of relentlessly pursuing the tailor-made suit. This is the first step in making things better. (And you get paid too).

Posted in Blog

7 reasons why we love our pet policy

August 14, 2017

By Tiana Daun, Digital Strategy & Communications Specialist

Over a year ago, Opportunity Partners adopted a pet policy, in hopes of boosting staff retention. A study done by the University of Kentucky* cites that workplace pets reduce stress levels and positively influence employees’ health, job satisfaction and organizational issues like productivity and employee morale. The study also claims that pets make working environments more comfortable and create positive impressions of organizations.

Dozens of OP employees bring their pet into work with them (some pets come in every day), and from what we can see – the University of Kentucky was right! See what our employees have to say about our pet policy:

Mikko

“Mikko should be on the OP payroll for all of the roles he plays at my group homes. He attends medical appointments, helps the residents fall asleep, and helps with anxiety – so much that instead of choosing to take anxiety medicine, a resident will choose to have Mikko sit on her lap. Mikko, Mingo, Rico, or Pekko – he answers to all of them and always shows up for his shifts.” – Lori Arnold, Program Manager

“I really like bringing Adrian because she acts as a stress reliever. At Koch we will say we need a ‘dog break’ when things get stressful! I also love seeing her interact with the people served. She always brings a smile to their face!” – Amy Beyer, Training and Development Specialist

“I love bringing in my cats! The look on people’s faces when they see the kittens is priceless. It brings a little bit of home into work and is a stress reliever for me and others.” – Andrea Nemitz, Service Coordinator Support Staff

“Jasper is an amazing stress reliever for the people we serve. When people are having a bad day, they come to my office for a ‘Jasper fix.’ He certainly lives up to his name, which means, ‘sustains and supports during stressful times’ (according to PetMD).” – Elise Dahl, Service Coordinator

“I get way more visitors to my desk when I bring Pemberley in, which creates good vibes all around! She’s a very easy-going cat and brings my work energy to a calm and relaxed pace.” – Kayleigh Karppinen, HR Generalist

“Being able to have my dog makes me feel better in knowing he isn’t stuck at home all by himself, and seeing how happy he makes the persons served and other employees here when they get to see him is a real joy.” – Matt Thiede, SET Site Supervisor

“I love being able to bring my dogs into work with me. It’s stress relieving for me and great socialization for them. There are many smiles and waves from the people we serve and fellow staff when walking around. It’s a great way to make connections and bring extra positivity to the day.” – Heather Brooks, Graphic & Web Design Specialist

Posted in Blog

2017:

Stacie at the podium at the 2017 OP Gala.

Our 2017 Gala drew more than 400 guests and raised nearly $300,000. Your generous contributions help us carry out our mission of advancing the quality of life for people with disabilities.

Posted in Timeline

2016:

Pleasant house residents

We purchased a new residence on Pleasant Avenue in Richfield to replace our Webster house. The new home is larger and more accessible for the four residents.

Posted in Timeline

Community living with confidence

July 31, 2017 

By Julie Peters, Communications Director

As a sports enthusiast, Justin Kunz appreciates the values of training and working as a team.

Whether he’s cheering on the Minnesota Twins or finishing a 5K wheelchair race, the 39-year-old has found these values in his home life too – from Opportunity Partners’ Independent Living Skills (ILS) program. With just four hours of staff support per week, Justin has the training and teamwork he needs to live very independently.

Justin has cerebral palsy and brain injuries from medical complications, resulting in short-term memory and balance issues. He walks with a cane and uses a wheelchair to participate in races. His apartment in downtown St. Paul provides him quick access to his job in records management at an insurance company, where he works 26 hours a week.

Opportunity Partners’ ILS program provides one-to-one assistance to help people achieve or maintain independence. Goals can include self-care, mobility, sensory and motor development, socialization and more. In Justin’s case, Opportunity Partners staff help him manage his calendar, medical appointments, banking, paperwork, grocery shopping and cooking.

He has made huge strides over the nearly 15 years that Opportunity Partners has supported him. “It used to take us two hours to balance my checkbook,” he recalls. “Six months later, I knew I was making progress is when I could do it myself.”

He needed more help early on, but over time as he settled into living independently he was able to cut back on his hours with staff. “My staff said, ‘You’ve outgrown me.’ That was the ultimate compliment.”

Now, Justin knows he can do most things on his own but Opportunity Partners is by his side to assist when needed. “I feel more secure, more confident if there’s someone behind me if I need help,” he said. “Opportunity Partners has been really good for me.”

Posted in Blog

Join us for the Success Celebration!

You are invited to the 2017 Success Celebration! Join us on Sunday, September 17 at the Hyland Hills Chalet in Bloomington  for an afternoon celebrating the outstanding individuals we serve at Opportunity Partners.

Tickets are $8 per person and can be purchased online. Please contact events@opportunities.org with any questions.Success Celebration will be Sunday, September 17, 2017.

Schedule of events:

  • 3:00 p.m. – check-in, games & dance
  • 4:30 p.m. – awards program
  • 5:00 p.m. – dinner
Posted in Events

Why I work at OP

July 18, 2017 

By Claire Westberg, Service Coordinator, Asplin Center

My name is Claire Westberg and I work at Opportunity Partners – Asplin Center and I’m a Service Coordinator. I usually try to start my morning with the not so fun stuff like billing and paperwork, getting that entered into the system. Everyone always comes to your office in the morning, when they get here to say hi, it’s a very positive way to start your day.

Claire and Craig

I think my role as a Service Coordinator…I’ve kind of heard it referred to as an in-house case manager because you do so many different things. We’re really coordinating services, dealing with communicating with people’s families, helping people with their schedule. Really I’m here to make sure people have good days, helping them with whatever goals they may have.

I love my job at OP, every day is different. There’s opportunity for growth, which is really cool. I’ve been with the company for a little over two years, and I’ve had three different roles. It’s a really cool feeling to feel like you’re moving up in an organization that you really support and believe in. I really feel that I’ve build great relationships with the people served, and especially the people on my caseload. Not only do I have really great relationships with the people that I support, but relationships with their family. There’s a lot of trust there.

It’s definitely important to have a really good relationship with the people you support, otherwise how are you going to support them?

See Claire in action in a Day in the Life video. OP is always looking for great people to join our team! View our current openings.

Posted in Blog

Our award-winning team

June 26, 2017

Opportunity Partners staff earned three statewide awards this month, demonstrating  professional, person-centered qualities that make us proud to have them on our team.

ARRM Cares winners Nancy Grayson and Josiah Early with Opportunity Partners President & CEO Armando Camacho.

Josiah Early and Nancy Grayson were among six ARRM Cares winners out of nearly 100 nominees statewide. Each year, the Association of Residential Resources in Minnesota (ARRM) honors the best direct support professionals in Minnesota. Josiah and Nancy show outstanding compassion and professionalism. ARRM produced videos about the winners – you can view them here.

Lisa Vitkus was named Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation (MOHR) Metro Employment Service award winner. As an Opportunity Partners job developer, Lisa believes in every person she serves.

At the MOHR conference (from left) Calli Kadlec, Nancy Wagner, Lisa Vitkus, Paul Fredendall, Armando Camacho and Lori Schluttenhofer.

Through her service at Opportunity Partners, she has impacted the lives of more than 160 people with disabilities by helping them secure independent, community jobs.

Congratulations to Josiah, Nancy and Lisa for their dedication to people with disabilities!

Posted in News

What independence means to me

June 29, 2017

By Julie Peters, Director of Communications

Each day, Opportunity Partners helps nearly 2,000 people with disabilities live and work more independently in our communities. In recognition of Independence Day, we asked individuals to share what independence means to them.

From choosing where to go out to eat, what music to listen to, participation in activities like Special Olympics, and where to work, people shared their thoughts about independence.

  • “I made choices on my own.” – Sandy
  • I feel more independent when I’m: “Swimming and bowling, helping others, being a good friend …  respecting people’s boundaries.” – Meaghan
  • “To get to places on my own – city bus!” – Ashlee
  • “Be your own boss.” – Crispus
  • “Karaoke! Singing.” – Kerry
  • “I like to clean my own room and do laundry. Staff help me budget my money.” – Denise
  • “I choose to work.” – Ken
  • “I work at Lunds. I bag the groceries and carry them out to the car.” – John
  • “I like to buy something that I want.” – Rachael
  • “I follow the grocery list with my PCA and I schedule my own rides on Metro.” – Angela
  • “Doing sports like bowling, going to garage sales, working out and grocery shopping.” – Greg
  • “I make and tell my own order at Subway.” – Jennifer
  • “I pick out my own clothes.  I go shopping for them at Mall of America.” – Lisa
  • “Brush my teeth on my own now because of staff.” – May
  • “Staff teaches me how to put makeup on, and they teach me hygiene.  I learn to advocate for myself.” – Sharon

What does independence mean to you?
Share your ideas at info@opportunities.org


“I live on my own. I go to the store to buy my food. It makes me feel good to be independent. I feel responsible.” – Debbie

“My mom took me to Target and waited in the car so I could go inside and buy her a present to surprise her for her birthday. It made me feel proud and excited.”  Krystyna

“I make apple pie.”  Jessica

“I help walk the dog.” Joey

“I do my own laundry and go out by myself, or use the computer independently.” – Sherry

Posted in Blog

Inspiration is everywhere around me

June 19, 2017

By Tiana Daun, Digital Strategy and Communications Specialist

At any given time, our organization has dozens of job openings, mostly for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). DSPs truly make up the heart of our organization. The impact that they make is immeasurable and we need them now more than ever.

The relationships that DSPs build with the people we support at Opportunity Partners are crucial. DSPs ensure that people are happy, safe and valued – and living their best life. In my role, I am fortunate enough to witness these developing relationships firsthand. This year, we are continuing our “A Day in the Life” video series – where we chronicle what it is like to work at Opportunity Partners. For the videos, I follow staff members around for a day and interview them, asking about the roles they play, what they like about their jobs, and the impact they make.

Filming these videos has been incredibly eye opening for me. I remember being present for a particular conversation in which a person served confides in a staff member about how she is upset another staff member is leaving. This woman was in tears explaining how much she will miss the staff member. This scene was not filmed, but it really struck a chord with me. It then became more evident to me that the high staff turnover rates for DSPs throughout the disability service industry nationwide hurts the people that we support, and that’s why we need our DSPS now more than ever.

Another thing that becomes clear in filming these videos is that EVERY SINGLE PERSON says that their favorite part of the job is building relationships with the people we support. For example, Gloria says, “I like my job because I basically get to visit some of the coolest people. It’s really cool to watch them succeed and prove that they can do it. I just feel like I belong here.”

Take a look at Gloria’s video featuring a job visit with Kelly at Lunds and Byerlys. Gloria works as a job developer and over several months, has built a trusting relationship with Kelly.

If you or someone you know is looking for a job where you can make a difference every day, check out our job openings online.

Posted in Blog

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