L to R: Kelsey Torres, Rebeca McCann, Dayna Sharon

Work Opportunities Unlimited is pleased to announce that Rebeca McCann on the Worcester, MA team is the 2023 recipient of the prestigious Frank Loughran Award. The award recognizes excellence in supported employment and is given each year to an individual who has exhibited creativity in job development for people with disabilities, and a commitment to fostering natural supports in the workplace. As a Career Resource Specialist, Rebeca dedicates her days to breaking down the barriers to meaningful employment for people with disabilities by helping them prepare for the workplace and supporting them while on the job. “I nominated Rebeca for the Frank Loughran Award due to her extraordinary commitment to each individual she serves,” says Director Dayna Sharon.

Rebeca’s work supporting a former client is truly exemplary. The individual wanted a meaningful position that would help him be independent, but was unwilling to work with Rebeca or consider opportunities she had identified for him. However, “Rebeca maintained a positive attitude and worked tirelessly to find ways to better engage the individual in the job search process and find a position that met his goals,” says Dayna. She also communicated with his family to explain how she would assist him in setting up natural supports in the workplace so that he could achieve independence.

The individual desired to make his hometown a better place. To help him reach this goal, Rebeca was able to secure him a seasonal maintenance job with the town’s department of public works. Her client flourished in the position. He was paid to clean up the town he loved so much and had more opportunities to interact with the friends he made at the local police and fire departments.  “Because Rebeca was able to find him what he considered to be the perfect job for him, he was better able to open up to his coworkers and wasn’t afraid to ask for help,” says Dayna. “His coworkers immediately took him under their wing and made him feel like the invaluable part of the team that he was, which allowed him to achieve his independence goal.” With Rebeca’s creative thinking and unwavering support, her client was able to do something he loved while making a huge positive impact on both the town and his coworkers. Congratulations, Rebeca!

With operations throughout the eastern United States, Work Opportunities Unlimited (WOU) is a community-based employment service provider. The company serves thousands of adults and students annually. In addition to private citizens, WOU provides services to individuals referred by school districts, vocational rehabilitation programs, developmental disability agencies, Departments of Mental Health, Transitional Assistance, and Children and Families, as well as the U.S. Social Security Administration through the Ticket to Work program. For more information, please visit www.workopportunities.net.