Work Opportunities Unlimited (WOU) strives to partner with a variety of reputable businesses to provide diverse career opportunities for people with barriers to employment. Recently, WOU expanded its relationship with Covenant Living, a retirement organization, to offer clients job placements and on-the-job training in both Plantation, Florida and now Keene, New Hampshire as well. Landon is one of the first WOU clients to be placed at the Keene facility, supported on the job by Career Resource Specialist Amy Vaughn. Amy says this placement, Landon’s first, “is a great fit for him. He absolutely loves it!”

Landon has been a member of Covenant Living’s dining services department since November 2022. After starting out with a few simple tasks, Landon is now proficient with just about every task on his team’s to-do list, including cleaning, washing dishes, and serving meals to the residents. Landon is on a first-name basis with many residents and enjoys chatting with them. His friendly, empathetic nature makes Landon a natural at taking good care of his customers. Amy says, “He is very attentive to the needs of others. Landon meets people where they are at and makes sure they feel welcome.”

One of Landon’s favorite things about his job is his coworkers. The tight-knit team works together in a small space, and the routine changes often – as Amy describes it, “They are literally bumping into each other, preparing meals and making sure everything is cleaned up and put away.” Such a hectic environment could be overwhelming for any new hire, but from the beginning Landon was able to go with the flow. He takes initiative to tend to whatever needs to be done throughout his shift, communicates pertinent information to his coworkers, and he even rose to the occasion of answering the kitchen phone when his coworkers were on another floor tending to food deliveries.

Landon fits right in with his team’s fun yet focused dynamic. He loves to joke around and dance to music in the kitchen, but he remains a very driven and goal-oriented employee. Amy says, “He likes the satisfaction of finishing a job well, and he gets into a Zen mode when he’s doing his tasks.” Landon describes it as, “I get a rush of dopamine when I get a job done.” The team loves having Landon on board and praises his stellar work ethic – one even calling him as a “rockstar.”  His supervisor is very supportive as well and she continues to challenge him with new tasks, which Landon is eager to learn for the sake of assisting his team. Amy has helped Landon develop smoother transitions between tasks and improve his time management skills. She says, “He’s very receptive to constructive criticism and doesn’t take it personally because he wants to be his best self.”

Landon’s progress in his new role is impressive, especially since he wasn’t sure he was ready for all of the job’s responsibilities. Amy says, “He’s really proud of himself about the success he’s had there so far. Social interactions have sometimes been challenging for him in the past, so it’s a very big deal that he’s getting along so well with his coworkers and feeling such a sense of belonging.” Now Landon is emerging as a leader who welcomes and helps train new employees, including another WOU client who was hired as a dishwasher. Landon’s positive attitude about his job is wonderfully contagious, which has put the other client at ease as he adjusts to his new job. Amy asked Landon to share advice that he wished he knew when he first started at Covenant Living, and he has risen to the occasion. He asks the other client specific questions about his routine so he can offer helpful feedback, and he shares valuable and relatable advice that he’s learned from his supervisor and coworkers as he coaches him through online training modules.

Landon’s long-term goals include increasing his hours to full time, and one day he plans to live on his own. These goals are in reach thanks to his excellent job performance. “To say that Landon is thriving at his job at Covenant Living seems like an understatement.  He feels valued and inspired to continue to grow, succeed, and even lead,” says Amy. Plus, Landon is having so much fun at work, she states, “I’m pretty sure he often forgets that he’s actually getting paid for it!”