Employment Success Stories
Nicholaus is a fairly shy, 23 year old young man who had never worked in the community on his own before. He had worked in a group setting through the NES Day Services in a warehouse on an assembly line. His dream job is to someday become a chef in a high-end restaurant.
With the assistance of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Employment Staff at NES in Lehi, he was able to apply and be offered an entry level job in the dietary department of Heritage Care Center. He wanted to make a difference in the quality of the food served there and learn new cooking skills.
Nick started working at Heritage Care Center in May 2019, he has learned new skills on how to safely use the large equipment and is learning the different dietary needs there. He takes pride in taking the temperature of the dishwasher and recording it before starting to wash dishes. Nick’s favorite part of his job is being able to help others and when he is able to organize items and putting them away in the kitchen.
Nick assists in clearing the dining room carts of the dishes, washing and placing the dishes into a sanitizing machine, he then ensures they are clean and put away in an organized area. He will help fill juice and beverage containers for the lunch hour, Organizing and putting away the food orders. He gathers clean eating utensils and cloth napkins, and rolls them. He has assisted in putting freight away and tearing down boxes to be recycled. Nick will complete any task that is asked of him with a positive outlook.
Nick had stated that he “did not know there are so many health and safety rules to stick to, but is happy to learn them as well.” He loves working in this Kitchen and the staff really like working with him there. He says his next step is to become the Assistant to the Chef, with his dream of going to Culinary Art school someday.
Amy is 31 years old, she has moved from an Intermediate Care Facility with about 62 roommates into a NES Residential Apartment with one other roommate in 2019.
Since her move to the new apartment, Amy has grown so much from a very emotional person who would tear up in conversations and withdrawal from groups to someone that shows such self-assertion and shows such courage to try and learn new things.
In January of 2020, with the help from the Employment Staff at NES, a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, and her DSPD Support Coordinator working together with her, she obtained a job at Denny’s where she works two full days a week. Some of her job tasks include dishwashing, bussing tables, and some cleaning in the lobby area. She stated that she just loves this job and always has a big smile that is contagious to others. She loves helping others and loves when she can help with kids as they come into the restaurant.
She has learned to ride the UTA bus from her home, to work, and back home to become more independent, with a little training from the Employment Staff.
Everyone is so proud of Amy for her hard work and dedication to completing all of the tasks given to her with such a great outlook, courage to learn new things in her life, and what a great person she can be on the job at Denny’s. She stated that she “absolutely loves her new life and is so grateful for everyone that has helped her and supported her along the way”.
Alex was adopted by his parents when he was three years old from an orphanage in Western Siberia. He has two younger brothers who are close to his age. His parents saw his picture while browsing with an adoption agency and felt that he was the right fit for their family. His family has loved and supported him ever since. Upon moving to Utah when Alex was six, they found that there was so much support available, starting with the Wasatch County Unified School District. They assessed Alex, and ensured he was in the right classes for his abilities. Soon after, Alex was able to get support from the Neurobehavior Home Program with the University of Utah, and after much testing was found to have his intellectual disabilities since birth due to brain damage. He was also diagnosed with cerebral palsy and autism. Then, at around age 12, Alex’s anxiety disorder started to manifest itself. On top of everything else, this was causing a significant struggle for him, as well as for his parents. At about this time he was able to begin receiving waiver services to provide respite for his parents, which they say was an important part of what saved their marriage.
Alex received excellent support from the Wasatch County Unified School District. He attended the Wasatch Transition College, the local post-high school program, after turning 18. They provided many opportunities to volunteer and tour potential places of employment. Upon graduation in May of 2019, he was offered a job at the Wasatch Aquatic Center. He also helped his mother with her business that she runs from home as an official employee. Alex also attended day program with Chrysalis following graduation, and loved the activities. The Transition College assisted Alex with getting connected with Vocational Rehabilitation (VR). VR helped Alex to find the job that he holds currently, as a bagger at Smith’s grocery store soon after graduating from the Transition College. As his schedule became busier with Smith’s, Alex decided to work one job instead of three in December of 2019. Transitioning out of VR services, Alex received support from Innovative Harbor, a DSPD provider, with his job coaching, and they eventually took over his day-program services, too. Alex continues to live at home with his parents, but he is hoping to be able to move out into a residential program soon and further increase his independence, while also staying close to his family.
Everyone who meets Alex loves him. He has an infectious positive attitude, and loves life. He cares deeply for others and is constantly looking out for his peers at day program. He and his family have truly benefitted from the support they have received, and are so grateful for all the different people who have helped them throughout the years.
Becky is 39 years old. In 2014 NES supported Becky in completing an Internship with Stampin’ Up Inc. in their housekeeping department. During that Internship she learned valuable janitorial skills with a job coach. When a job opening became available with Lehi City at the Lehi Legacy Center later in 2014, NES assisted Becky with a resume, interviewing skills and completion of an application.
At the interview Becky was able to bring her experience from the internship. Her letter of reference from Stampin’ Up spoke very highly of her work as a janitor, her dependability, and friendly personality.
Becky was hired by the Legacy Center in 2014 where she works 5 days a week from 9-2. Her duties include cleaning the machines in the cardio room, the weight room, and the bike room. She does laundry, cleans the lockers in the women dressing room, and washes hand railings on the three sets of stairs, with the support from a job coach. She has an excellent work ethic, always striving to do her best.
Becky is complimented often by guests on the cleanliness of the Lehi Legacy Center. She greets guests with a friendly attitude. Becky enjoys her co-workers, and is appreciated by her supervisor/manager.
Becky’s favorite job task is folding the laundry. She loves working in Lehi where she lives and does have the opportunity to show her neighbors and friends at the Legacy Center how hard she works. She always has a big contagious smile and seems happy with everything she does.
Sam is 45 years old. He has been working at Smith’s as a bagger since 2000. A vital part of Sam’s job is interacting with guests, and he loves it. Making and keeping friends is important to Sam. He has made many friends at Smith’s. When customers come to shop, they make a point of speaking to him, and he to them. Oftentimes the customers come and seek him out for assistance.
Sam provides an excellent customer environment. He is courteous as a bagger, and enjoys helping guests load their groceries into their cars. Sam’s tasks include bagging grocery items in an efficient manner, sweeping the produce area and the front entryway, assisting customers out to their car with their groceries if needed, and returning carts from the parking lot. He watches the cashiers to see where he is needed most to help bag. NES provides job coaching to ensure that Sam continues to do well at his job and to help him with his speed and efficiency while at work.
His supervisor reported, “Sam is a key, valued contributor and is fully capable and successful in his role. A solid performer, and very dependable.”
Jennifer is 46 years old, she had never had a job that she could call her own job before. She had worked at a few different sub-minimal paid jobs all of her life and attended a couple different Day Service Programs since she completed her High School Education in a Special Education program.
Jennifer had worked on an Enclave with a group of peers in the dining services at UVU, where she was assigned to wash dishes. She went into the food court area with the students at UVU and would wipe down tables and greet the students in the cafeteria on her break times just to keep herself busy. Once the Enclave had come to an end, she desperately wanted to work at a job where she could greet others and keep a dining area clean.
In June 2017 Jennifer was referred to apply for Vocational Rehabilitation Services by her DSPD/Support Coordinator and her Residential Provider. The Day Services Employment Manager was able to help Jennifer apply for Services. Her Employment Team helped Jennifer make appointments and helped her to prepare for Job Searching, NES supported her to apply and interview at three different restaurants. On the third restaurant that was advertising a hiring event, The NES Employment Specialist took Jennifer to fill out an application and interviewed. Jennifer was able to tell the Wendy’s Manager that she could clean the lobby area, the bottoms of the booths, and the chair legs. She stated “I love to make things nice and clean so everyone can enjoy their food”.
Vocational Rehabilitation was able to help Jennifer obtain funding to help her job search with an NES Employment Specialist and to help her with NES job coaching on the job until she was 80% independent on her job tasks. Wendy’s has never looked so nice, she absolutely loves her job, the customers, and her coworkers at Wendy’s.