Justin is a recent high school graduate who received traditional special education and community based work experiences. He is a customer with the local Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) and he and his family chose Quest Inc. to provide his employment services. Justin started doing some assessments and appeared to be a good candidate for Customized Employment. Justin began to work with Mike Barnhart grant manager for Quest’s DD Council funded Non- segregated Employment Incentives grant with support from his OVR counselor Bill Blackway, and his mom. Mike and Justin began the Discovery process by getting to “Really Know” Justin, his skills, interests, and investigating Justin’s “ vocational themes” and “ideal conditions of employment.” Justin’s strongest vocational interests kept coming back to:
> An interest in Computers > Computer research > Taking things apart > Stocking
Some of Justin’s Ideal Conditions of Employment that were found included:
> Working with a limited number of people without a lot of noise > Working indoors, away from inconsistent weather elements > Working with supportive coworkers where his opinions will be listened to and valued.
Mike and Justin began to do “informational interviews” based on his vocational themes and ideal conditions of employment. Mike spends a lot of time doing community committee work including the local chamber of commerce. Through the Chamber of Commerce, Mike knew Robert Yeagley a local entrepreneur who owns a local informational technology (IT) business called Eagle Secure Solutions. Robert invited Justin and Mike to come by his place for an informational interview. Justin and Robert really hit it off and soon discovered that Justin had some true skills and a passion for working with computers. Justin was able to come back to Eagle Secure Solutions a few times and Rob began to see some marketable skills including his love of taking computers apart. Based on Justin’s skills and interests, Robert and Mike began to negotiate a new position for Justin. With support from the DD Council grant Justin was able to purchase some computer equipment (resource ownership) to help him be more productive and marketable to Eagle Secure Solutions. Justin is now working for and his job responsibilities are:
> Installing Windows Operating Systems on Computers > Backing Up Information on the hard drive to an external or remote location > Dissasembling used computers and determining fair market value for sellable parts > Identifying the problem on a computer by reading over the customers description of the problem that they bringing the computer in for > Working with Rob to remotely fix computer issues at other locations
Josh standing in from of his garage with a completed vehicle
Bedford County Mental Health/Intellectual Disabilities (MH/ID) services has always been interested in helping more of the people they serve attain jobs in rural central Pennsylvania where typical entry level jobs are not very abundant. Bedford County has attained a Non-segregated Employment Incentives grant from the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council. Lois Frederick, grant manager is a retired special education teacher and an incredible “community leader.” Lois has been spending her time learning a lot about customized employment and how to “find the jobs behind the jobs.” Lois’s training has been funded through the PA DD Council Employment Reform Resource grant, with training provided by staff from Via of the Lehigh Valley and GriffinHammis Associates. Lois began to work with Josh who lives in a highly rural area outside of Bedford Pa. Josh has been hanging around Gary Stufft’s garage with his dad for a long time. Josh’s dad drives truck and Josh has always enjoyed the truck wash. So it seemed natural for Josh and his Discovery Team, led by Lois, to look into some possibilities in which Josh could wash vehicles. Gary’s garage is about a mile from Josh’s house and Gary welcomed Josh and Lois to come by the garage for an “informational interview.” They learned that Gary and his staff do great work fixing cars but sometimes the cars leave Gary’s garage needing a good scrubbing!! With resources provided by the DD Council, Lois and Gary were able to negotiate a new position for Josh to work for Gary washing and detailing cars. (See pictures) Resources were provided to build a car wash bay for Josh to wash cars in all kinds of weather. Soon after, Gary was awarded a contract from Bedford (MH/ID) to wash their fleet of cars, and also do some state inspection and service work. Josh learned his job with support from Gary, Lois and his step dad. Gary and his staff pick Josh up for work and give him a ride home after work. Gary is thrilled with the added value to his business that Josh has been able to supply! Josh’s motto is, “Get her done,” and he enjoys his job where he is mostly outside, around a garage, and making lots of money. His first goal with his increased wages is to “get his scooter fixed.” Congratulations Josh!
Josh using a schedule to complete all the tasks of car washing and detailing.