Ryan Mountain joined Work Opportunities Unlimited 20 years ago as an Employment Representative, providing placement and training services to Supported Employment Program (SEP) and Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) clients. He was soon promoted to a Director position, where he supervised programs including youth, VR and SEP programs.
After being promoted to Vice President of Program Development in 1999, Ryan developed services with school districts and new markets in Florida, Maryland, and Washington D.C. He was instrumental in the development of an internal quality measurement tool, the Portal, the company’s online database. The Portal allows the organization to manage all client files, team member training, outcome/service delivery, and job development activity, and it also generates reports and statistics for quality analysis.
Ryan also oversaw the development of the organization’s Core Competency Training, which includes Customized Service Planning, Preparing People for Job Search, Business Development, Retention Planning and On-Site Supports.
Additionally, Ryan played an integral role in Work Opportunities Unlimited becoming involved in the Ticket to Work program, an initiative funded by the Social Security Administration that’s designed to help beneficiaries return to work and become self-sufficient. As an approved Employment Network, Work Opportunities Unlimited can provide job placement services to those individuals with a Ticket.
“Ryan’s an expert in our field, changing the lives of many clients and their families. His greatest strengths are his ability to communicate positively with everyone and to solve even the most challenging situations. Ryan invented our school services, after recognizing that schools, parents, and students were frustrated trying to find appropriate employment opportunities for students, who were still being served by area high schools. Thanks to Ryan, we now serve hundreds of students in over 35 schools across the Northeast,” said Steve Wood, President, Work Opportunities Unlimited and author of the popular blog Steve on Leadership.
In 2010, Ryan transitioned to the Vice President of Career Services role for Maryland, Washington D.C., and Massachusetts, the position he currently holds.
“It’s astounding to think of how things have changed in the past 20 years. The Leddy family has always fostered an environment that encourages new ideas, and implements changes to provide better services more efficiently,” Ryan explained. “When I started 20 years ago, we had pagers, bag phones, and no email. Work Opportunities Unlimited has not only kept pace with our evolving industry, but has stayed ahead of the competition. The development of the portal, the Administrative Resource Team, and cutting-edge business development techniques are a few of the initiatives that have vastly improved our accountability, outcomes, service areas and quality.”
Ryan has always appreciated the company’s mission, and has been proud that Work Opportunities Unlimited provides such valuable services to people that need the opportunity to work, allowing them to demonstrate what they can achieve in the workplace.
“Ryan has a unique ability to see someone’s barriers as simply something we can help them overcome. Ryan proves that our mission – we believe all people can work – is not simply words. He believes that all people can work, and he spends time with each client to get to know them, considering their goals and challenges to help maximize their successes,” said David Dwyer, Senior Vice President and Vocational Division Leader at Work Opportunities Unlimited.
Ryan and his colleagues are constantly working to find better ways to serve each customer, whether it’s the job seeker, referral source or employer.
“Work Opportunities Unlimited has a positive impact on so many people. Job placements themselves have a great impact on the individuals we serve, but their successes educate their coworkers, supervisors and the community on how important it is to see past a disability and to instead see each individual,” Ryan explained.
Throughout the past 20 years, Ryan has been grateful for everything he’s been exposed to at work.
“I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone countless times over the years, and because of it, I’ve developed as a person and a professional,” Ryan said.
In his various positions at Work Opportunities Unlimited, he’s learned sales techniques, public speaking, budget management, supervision, and countless other skills, for which he’s thankful.
“One of the best aspects of working at Work Opportunities Unlimited has been the family atmosphere,” Ryan continued. “It’s been an exciting and rewarding journey, and I plan to continue on here until my retirement!”