Happy Workforce Wednesday! October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. In partnership with the Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues & Employment (GCDE), we’re proud to help raise awareness about employment issues experienced by people with disabilities.
In this week’s Power of a Job post, Susan Milke of WorkSource Vancouver talks about Nicole, a job seeker who has a disability. WorkSource connected her to needed benefits and job leads. Nicole expertly took it from there, leaving every one — Nicole, her new employer and WorkSource staff — with a smile.
Here is Susan’s story about Nicole.
Nicole had worked with us in the past, and then we did not see her for quite a while because she had a job. Well, she lost her job, not through any fault of her own; the job was eliminated. So she started coming back here again, which was really exciting to us because we knew her and we were so pleased that she felt comfortable to come back.
Nicole did have some barriers: she needed to use a walker. But she came in every day, got herself in here and made full use of our resources. She attended some of the Strategies for Success [life-skills course] modules; she hooked up with the Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) program, using resources such as fuel cards and that type of thing.
She attended many of our workshops, and as you know, all of our services are free. She hooked up with resource room staff and employment specialists for job leads, doing her job search, and helping her apply for jobs online. She had great computer skills, but if you ever have applied online, you know sometimes those applications are arduous.
As we got to know her, we knew what type of positions she was looking for; she wanted an administrative or receptionist position. We had an upcoming hiring event and a specific employer was going to be there. We knew we had a perfect job for her.
We encouraged her to come to that event, and she did. We told the employer about her because he had made it very clear he was open to working with people with disabilities. Nicole met him, he arranged an interview and she got the job!
We were excited because she shared with us that the employer worked around her schedule. She has a young son, and she was able to get her son to school and daycare and still make it to work on time.
A couple weeks ago, I stopped by and was so excited and delighted to see that Nicole was employee of the month in June. Her picture was up, and the employer brought her out just to say hi. She shared with me — the employer did not tell me this — that the employer had installed an ADA-approved door-opening device so she could navigate the building. [ADA is the Americans with Disabilities Act.]
It was just a really happy outcome, and we want to encourage all of you, whether you’re looking for a job or exploring careers: Come in! We want to talk with you!
As partners in Washington’s WorkSource system and the American Job Center Network, the Employment Security Department helps people – unemployed or not – find new jobs and learn new skills. We help them experience the life-changing Power of a Job. We also work with businesses to help them find employees because we know they are Powered by Jobs.
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