Sunday, August 21, 2016

Calvin is a "Model Employee" at Wintergreen Resorts!

Calvin found a wonderful job where he is happy and appreciated at Wintergreen Resort.  His direct supervisor says Calvin is a "model employee!"

Friday, August 19, 2016

5 Years Strong with The Choice Group - Anna's Success Story!

I began working with Anna in the fall of 2011.  Anna had been working at another job in retail but was not getting consistent hours so DARS agreed to refer her to The Choice Group to find another job.  Anna has several younger nieces and nephews and decided that she would like to work around children.   Anna was also active in Special Olympics so it was important for her to be able to continue participating in these activities during her free time.

While looking for a job, Anna and I met several times a month to talk to employers, submit applications, and attend interviews.  Anna was always on time and followed through with everything I requested of her.  Anna is also lucky to have a great support system at home and I made sure to keep Anna’s mom updated with our progress.  Likewise, Anna’s mom would also pass along any suggestions she had or information that would help Anna be successful.

In March 2012, we were able to arrange an interview at One Life Fitness in the Greenbrier area of Chesapeake, VA. We met with Melissa, the Assistant Manager, to learn more about the position of a Kid’s Club Attendant.  Anna was so excited when she got the job offer and began working there in April 2012! As part of her job requirements, she has to maintain a First Aid/CPR certification.  She was very nervous about being able to pass this so I attended the course with her the first year.  Every year since then, however, Anna has attended the course independently and successfully passed it all on her own!

At One Life Fitness Anna has to greet parents, remind them to sign in their children, help ease the children’s anxiety when their parent leaves to work out, engage the children in activities, and make sure the child leaves with the authorized parent.  Anna really enjoys her job and says that working with the children is her favorite thing to do there. Anna especially likes holding the babies and playing with the younger children.  Anna also says she is thankful for The Choice Group for helping her become successful in reaching her goals.

One Life Fitness really seems to ”get” Supported Employment.  They have been great partners in helping Anna remain successful at her job. They take the time to meet with me every month when I stop by to visit Anna and also reach out to me if there is information I need to know to help Anna with her job.  One Life Fitness has a been a great support for Anna and they treat her like family. Melissa and Paula, Anna’s supervisors, always compliment Anna’s punctuality, attendance, and dedication to her job.

I have enjoyed working with Anna and her family over the past five years.  I am impressed with the growth and confidence I have seen in Anna and can’t wait to see what other accomplishments she will achieve in the future.

Ericka Neville
Manager -Hampton Roads

Nina's Success at MCV!

Nina's bubbly personality and people skills make her perfect in the busy MCV Hospital Environment! She loves her job as an elevator operator!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sade Elliot Worked Hard to Get Where She Is!

Sade Elliot is a hard worker, but very shy.  She began working with The Choice Group’s Rachel McGregor in September of 2014 when she began her Project SEARCH internship at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.  She began working in the Endoscopy Department as an Anesthesia Attendant, which requires a lot of skill!

Sade has always been a determined individual.  During a typical work day, she has a wide range of duties to perform.  Her tasks include anything from flipping beds and cleaning monitors to preparing the recovery area, entering patient data and assisting with paperwork.  Her managers quickly took notice of skills during her internship.  They saw that once she starts a task, she will get the job done.

When her internship ended, her managers saw how valuable she was to the department and created a position just for her! In addition, she has been asked to be a mentor for other Project SEARCH interns and new employees.  When asked about her job, Sade just says that she has worked very hard to get where she is!

Enjoy the View!

One of our counselors caught this beautiful sunrise at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital on the way to begin Job Site Training with a client. Our ‪Vocational Counselors‬ interact with a variety of people, places, environments, job name it! It's one of the reasons this job is so rewarding. It's nice when they get to take a moment and enjoy a view like this!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016

Supported Employment means Working with Employers, too!

We work with our clients as well as their employers, too. We promote inclusive atmospheres within the workplace so everyone can be happy working as a team!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Ticket to Work Virtual Job Fair

If you are ready to work, register for this Virtual Job Fair today!  Instructions on how to register and participate are below.

Attend the Ticket to Work Virtual Job Fair

When: August 24, 2016

The Ticket to Work program will host its next online Virtual Job Fair on August 24, 2016, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET. This is a national event sponsored by Social Security. The event will connect job seekers to companies that work with the government. These companies have job openings for persons with many different skill and experience levels. They are particularly interested in hiring qualified people with disabilities.

Register for the Job Fair!

At the job fair, participants can communicate with job recruiters online in chat forums and by using one-on-one messages. They can also visit virtual resource booths to ask questions about job accommodations, Social Security work incentives, and legal issues that can create barriers to work for people with disabilities.

You should register if:

- You are a Ticket to Work participant
- You are using your Ticket to get services from an approved Employment Network (EN) or your state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency
- You are ready to work

How to register:

- Fill out the consent form found at
- Give the form to your EN or state VR agency to keep on file
- Register at

Once your eligibility to participate is verified, your registration will be confirmed. If you have participated in a past Virtual Job Fair, you still need to sign a new consent form and register.

You can download the flyer online at:

Not sure if you are a Ticket to Work participant? Need help finding an EN or state VR agency?
Call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (voice) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY). Agents are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.

Assistive Technology - The Virtual Job Fair environment will be screen-reader friendly.