L to R: David Dwyer, Trisha Wagner, Tracy Domenici, Michael Amons, and Ryan Mountain

On May 15, 2024, Tracy Domenici, a Career Resource Specialist on the Blackstone Team (The Blackstone Valley area of MA and RI), was presented a Success at Work award during a team meeting. She was nominated for the award by Director Michael Amons. Since the award’s inception in 2000, Work Opportunities Unlimited (WOU) has presented the Success at Work award to honor and recognize team members who have delivered outstanding service to our clients consistent with the company’s core values.

“This nomination stems from two exceptional placements that Tracy achieved in the last month, particularly for her work supporting her clients in overcoming significant anxiety,” says Michael. The first client was referred to WOU in fall of 2022. She had been experiencing anxiety to a degree where she was unable to leave her home, not even to visit close friends and family. Tracy worked with her to slowly engage with community activities, starting with job exploration meetings at the library, and then two position tours at familiar businesses in her neighborhood. Tracy helped identify resources for her client to improve her mental health. One year after her initial referral, the individual returned to WOU to complete a work assessment at her local grocery store before starting a position as a dietary aide. She has since learned new tasks, mastered several workstations, and expanded her hours. With Tracy’s support, she regained her independence and excellent work ethic, exceeding her own expectations.

At this same time, Tracy successfully placed a second client in a new role. This individual had enjoyed the friendly environment and predictable duties as a restaurant employee from 2007 through 2021, when COVID-19 led to a reduction in staff. She took a break from paid work activities at the height of the pandemic, but her anxiety symptoms increased and she could no longer leave her home. She was interested in work but needed help to take the next step. Tracy began working with her in 2023, determined to help the individual achieve her goals. They had weekly meetings in her driveway, then moved on to sitting in the car, then short rides, then library visits, and finally, outings at nearby businesses. Tracy’s diligence, patience, and gentle guidance helped the individual reintegrate in her community and prepare to reenter the workforce. After completing customized planning and job exploration activities, Tracy helped her client secure employment in a position where she feels comfortable, and she is thriving.

During the award presentation David Dwyer presented Tracy with a certificate which read:

For her commitment to our core value, “We believe all people can work,” exemplified by her determination to help two clients overcome significant anxiety. Tracy has successfully supported many clients as a Career Resource Specialist on the Blackstone team. One individual’s anxiety had reached a level where she no longer left her home, not even to see friends and family. With Tracy’s support, the individual slowly began reentering the community, focused on improving her mental health, started a new job, and exceeded her own expectations. Another individual had an extensive work history at a restaurant, but when she was laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her anxiety became debilitating and she was unable to leave her home. Tracy gently guided her through small steps to reengage in her community and regain confidence, then helped her secure employment in a comfortable environment. These two exceptional placements show Tracy’s unwavering dedication to helping individuals achieve success in their lives and in the workplace.