Retained Placement Award

(Left to Right) David Dwyer, Senior Vice President, Elizabeth “Liz” Mellen, CRS, Whitney Ritt, Director, Trish Wagner, Regional Director

(Providence, RI) – Work Opportunities Unlimited is pleased to announce that Liz Mellen, of East Providence has received the company’s Retained Placement Award.  Given annually, Mellen received the award for excellence in supported employment, and the important role she played in assisting a client with job retention.

Work Opportunities Unlimited is a community-based, employment service provider that specializes in placing people with disabilities, and job seekers who experience barriers to employment, in competitive work environments.  As a Career Resource Specialist, Mellen dedicates her days to breaking down barriers to employment and creating opportunities for success in the workplace.


“I have a passion for making sure that people with disabilities have just as much opportunity to succeed as anyone else. I’ve had the privilege to grow up, and walk on this earth, as a person who has had it pretty easy. I think it’s my duty to make sure others have the opportunities that I’ve had.”


In presenting the award, Mellen was recognized for her tenacity and creativity in developing strategies that support her clients and their work goals.


“I knew immediately that I was going to nominate Liz for this award because of her unwavering dedication and persistence in helping her clients not only achieve their goals by getting a job, but keeping it,” says Whitney Ritt, Director of Work Opportunities Unlimited in Portsmouth RI. “Over the past two years, Liz has creatively supported one of her clients in navigating many barriers and challenges in his position, all while helping him build his confidence and become a valued member of his workplace team. Once reserved and shy, this job has changed his life for the better; he has made connections with co-workers and gained skills that will last a lifetime.”

“What this company does so well, and what I’ve learned from working here, is the importance of personalizing this process, says Mellen. “Many of my clients haven’t had choices in their lives; they’ve been told what to do and went along with it. This is not just about a job, it is about making connections with the employer and all the people that my clients work with, it’s about making sure my clients want and like the job and fostering an environment where they’re happy and successful at work. It’s all about making a good job match for everyone concerned; that’s what matters to me.”


“Liz’s holistic and inclusive approach to all that she does, her ability to engage and educate, to troubleshoot and design effective solutions, and her capacity to foster community within the work place embodies one of Work Opportunities Unlimited’ s core values,” says Ritt. “We are never satisfied” and we strive for improvement every day. That’s’ Liz’s mantra and the reason she is so deserving of this award.”


About Work Opportunities Unlimited: 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, development 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 information, visit