David: Collaborating with a One-Stop Career Center to find employment

Region: 

Background:

David is a 41-year-old man from Maryland. He enjoys being busy, often working at several paid and several volunteer jobs at the same time. David especially likes work related to film, CDs, and other media. He and his job coach benefited from the opportunity to work with a One-Stop Career Center to find this type of job.

What's important:

In 2004, David was doing volunteer office work at his adult day services agency, but was interested in finding a job. David's service coordinator knew that a local One-Stop Career Center had a grant to help people with disabilities who had difficulty finding jobs. She contacted the center about helping some of her customers, including David.

A job developer from the One-Stop agreed to help. She met with David and other people he knew to take them through the discovery process. During discovery, team members talk about a job seeker's skills and interests and brainstorm job opportunities. David's interest in electronic media was uncovered very quickly through this process. The job developer began looking for employment opportunities in that field, talking to employers about their needs and ways that David's skills could meet them. She also engaged David to help her with the search. While she was meeting with employers, he looked up other companies on the Internet, wrote a list of questions to ask employers, and practiced workplace behavioral skills. The job developer also arranged for David to take classes at the One-Stop Career Center on interviewing and computer training. These skills would help David succeed at a media-related job.

David had several job requirements. He needed to find work that he could do easily without good eyesight and with limited use of one hand. He wanted to work in a place that he could get to easily, where he could work around only a few other people, and where the pace of work was relaxed. The number of hours he could work and the amount he could earn were also limited due to his benefits requirements.

One of the employers the job developer looked into was Video Editor, a small business owned by a friend of David's family. The owner needed someone he could delegate some editing and copying tasks to while he concentrated on finding more customers. The business was on a public transportation route, and David could get there easily. The owner did not have a formal position open for David. But he and the job developer decided that he would hire him to work three hours per week, and let him try doing several tasks. David accepted this job. He turned out to be especially good at transferring media from one format to another and checking and timing tapes. His services coordinator worked as his job coach, helping him start out smoothly.

What Happened:

David still works at Video Editor, burning CDs and DVDs. He likes his job and the people who work there, and would love more hours and more media work. He is successful traveling to and from work and does not need job coaching. His employer, coworkers, and family members were happy to have worked with the One-Stop Career Center on finding this job.

Lessons learned

  • Discover a person's skills and interests. David's interests and job criteria were identified through a careful process of discovery and career planning. Agency staff and others should invest time in getting to know an individual, and in exploring the connections that their family and friends have to the business community.
  • Look for jobs that match individuals' interests. David found a job that matched his interests through the agency's collaboration with a One-Stop Career Center. Agency staff need to consider individuals' interests and ways to match them to a job, rather than just placing job seekers in any available position.
  • Get to know the employer. It's important to understand the employer's needs before proposing a job opportunity such as the one that was found for David.

For more information, contact:

David Liddel
dliddel@verizon.net

Marie Parker
mparker@montgomeryworks.com