Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Meet Chantile!

Chantile has been working at Elite Laundry since December 2016.  Before coming to Elite Laundry, she was a student in the Career Development Program at Norview High School.  After high school, Chantile participated as an intern in the Project SEARCH program, a national program that helps young adults with disabilities transition from school to work.  The program is a collaboration between Norfolk Public Schools, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, The Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services and The Choice Group, an employment service organization.

Chantile comes in every Tuesday morning and goes through the hangers that have been returned by our customers. Each week there are hundreds of hangers that are sent out with tablecloths.  Many of our customers return these hangers to be reused.  This helps provide a job for Chantile and also keeps them out of the landfill.  These hangers need all of their tags removed as well as the tubes that are dirty or bent.She then takes the "good" hangers used by our linen folders.  Chantile's job can be tedious, but she always does it with a smile!  When asked what she loves best about her job, she said, "I love getting out of the house and coming to see everyone at work." She also says she likes her job and likes working with other people.  Elite Laundry thanks you for sending your hangers back in to be reused.  It provides Chantile a few hours of work each week where she can feel valued and needed.

Megan Stover and the Elite Laundry Team

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

For Brian, success is just a commute away!

Nolan Speichinger has been working with Brian Rogers since December of last year. After determining that applying for an AbilityOne job would be the best strategy for Brian at the recommendation of his DARS counselor, they applied for jobs through a government contracting agency located in Northern Virginia. The AbilityOne program "is among the largest sources of employment, on Federal contracts, for individuals who are blind or have significant disabilities in the United States.” Soon, they found a great position for Brian at a government facility in Washington D.C.!

There were many new challenges that Brian had to face with his new job, one of them being transportation. His daily commute in and out of the city usually averages one and a half to two hours and involves getting on the bus to the Franconia/Springfield station, getting off at the metro station, and walking to his nightly shift on time. When he returns from work, the bus is no longer in service and has learned how to order himself an Uber back to his home from the station. Learning this route was a huge achievement for Brian.

Being a man of routine, this job allows Brian to know what to expect with a reliable list of tasks to perform. Brian has been tasked with cleaning the basement of a major government building in D.C. and reports to his supervisors before every shift to receive his “route sheet.” His route sheet helps him to check off that he has pulled trash, vacuumed and made sure each room is ready for the next day.

With the support he has received from his family, job coach, and supervisors, Brian has been able to go from needing total supports to doing most of it independently. He has become more confident in himself and knows that he can do this job without a job coach overseeing his tasks throughout the shift. A recent improvement on the job has been his ability to call his supervisors when any questions, concerns or issues arise since he works by himself. He also went from not knowing how to use the metro system to now commuting successfully five days a week. 

With only three weeks on the job, Brian has achieved a great deal and we wish him continuing success in the future!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Brittany found a great job match!

I began working with Brittany Heath in October 2017, just after she had been offered a position with Walmart on Southpoint Parkway in Fredericksburg, VA in the Maintenance Department. She had worked with another job coach previously and I began working with her once she got the job! Brittany likes to keep things neat and tidy and this position was a great fit for her. Brittany had a wonderful trainer who helped her learn her job duties and answered all of her questions. Brittany picked up her job duties quickly and was moved to follow along services a mere two months after starting her job.  The management staff at Walmart are all very pleased with Brittany’s performance and praise her every time I visit the site. She recently began assisting with the training of new maintenance staff coming on board and says often how much she really likes her job. She is currently working part-time hours, up to 24 hours per week, usually three 8-hour days.

Tricia Ann Hall
Vocational Counselor, Northern Virginia