In order to help their clients find meaningful employment, Work Opportunities Unlimited relies on its partnerships with local and national employers. Savers, an organization with over 300 thrift stores nationwide, is one such partner. Savers not only does good by contributing to local charities, but it also affords opportunities for WOU’s clients to gain valuable on-the-job experience, and there’s no better example of this than the success of Tanya.

Tanya began her journey with WOU back in 2013. She was unsure of what she wanted to do for work and struggled with leaving the house. After a few placements that weren’t quite right for her, Tanya landed a job as a Roller at Savers in Plaistow, NH, in January of 2017 with the help of WOU’s Career Resource Specialist Khristina Hardy.

As a Roller, Tanya would roll a cart along the sales floor and stock items as she went. Khristina continued to work with Tanya after her placement, as many career resource specialists do, to ensure on-the-job success. With Tanya, that meant helping her acclimate to her job duties, as well as assisting her with picking up speed and reducing distractions.

Management at Savers noted that while she was doing okay in her job, there was room for improvement, so they worked with Khristina to do some “job carving,” which meant creating a role that utilized Tanya’s strengths to help her become more productive. Concurrently, Tanya had taken a fall and injured her ankle to the degree that she was unable to work for several weeks, and when she returned, she would need to be off her feet.

Tanya was reassigned to the “missile department,” which requires her to sort, bag, and tag assorted small housewares, toys, and stuffed animals. This position has truly been a great fit for Tanya. She has her own station and is responsible for filling a prescribed number of totes daily with these items. Her productivity has noticeably improved as she works in an area away from the distractions on the sales floor, yet she still has social interaction with nearby co-workers.

Tanya celebrated her five-year anniversary last year and, as Khristina pointed out, “The smile in the pictures (even behind the mask) shows how proud she is to show off her pin and her really cool record award featuring her name and start date that plays ‘thank you’ in 10 different languages. She also received a gift card and big cheers and congratulations from her co-workers.”

The pin, record, and gift cards aren’t the only rewards Tanya has received. Her productivity earned her the nickname of “Speedy” and her confidence has grown considerably. Khristina commented, “Tanya is responsible for what comes out of that department, and she takes great pride in her accomplishments and meeting her goals. Seeing Tanya blossom over the years has been amazing. Just to get her out of the house was great, never mind seeing her open up with her coworkers and interacting with her peers. We are all very proud of Tanya.”

Way to go, Tanya!