Tanya is a 30-year old woman who was part of a sheltered workshop and in need of a job in her community. She had limited work experience, but she and a Support Coordinator knew she could work successfully in the community. Work Opportunities began services with an Intake during which Tanya was informed of our services both verbally and with written material. Consents were signed and preliminary information was gathered. Tanya was then engaged in the customized service planning process that commenced within one week of Intake. Tanya worked 1:1 with her Career Resource Specialist (CRS), a member of the Work Opportunities Unlimited staff, who facilitated the plan using a mapping process with flip charts. Initially, Tanya was very shy and barely said anything at all. The CRS was at a loss as to how to complete the plan. Persistence paid off as Tanya was able to communicate one-word answers and as time passed she offered more communication. Once the plan was finished with Tanya her planning team was assembled and to our surprise Tanya presented her plan using the flip charts to her team. Tanya dressed up for the occasion and her team was so impressed that they applauded her plan and her efforts. The plan identified her goals for employment, scheduling, support needs, and transportation. It also detailed the outcomes that needed to be accomplished in order to reach her goals.
Following the customized service plan Tanya started preparing for job search with her CRS. This entailed creating a resume, practicing application writing, and interview training. It was quickly determined by the CRS that Tanya would need to obtain proper interviewing attire and that she would need assistance during the interview to communicate effectively. A professional resume was developed and after her training, the job search began. After approximately 2 1/2 months, Tanya’s CRS secured an interview with the manager of a Victoria’s Secret store and prepared her on how to dress for the interview. They also practiced again prior to the interview, and in the end, Tanya obtained a job preparing clothes for the sales floor. The CRS identified quickly that the store manager was eager to integrate Tanya into the work culture and in fact had ideas on how to expose her to many different aspects of the business. The CRS completed a Retention Plan, which identified Tanya’s barriers as well as the interventions that would be implemented to maximize her success. Tanya caught on quickly to the job with some intense support from her CRS and her coworkers. From there her CRS has maintained regular weekly, sometimes daily, contact in order to observe and implement any social or task supports that will ensure ongoing long-term success.