At One Vision Employment Solutions, we have been seeing a number of success stories we wanted to share with you. Empowering others to lead independent lives has continued, helping the people we support to find community and belonging in their places of employment. As we all continue to readjust to safely find normalcy, daily routine and pride in a job well done are all in a day’s work for Karen Thoma in Fort Dodge.
Karen’s achievements at her job were recently picked up by the Fort Dodge Messenger in their well-crafted feature by City Editor Chad Thompson. The article highlights Karen’s success over the past two years while employed by Tobacco Outlet Plus Grocery where in addition to her usual duties of making sure shelves are stocked, she has also played an important role in sanitizing at the store. But her favorite part is all the friendly faces she sees each day.
“Everyone welcomes me and I like welcoming the customers,” Karen told The Messenger. “I love the employees. They have always been willing to help me out.”
Karen’s job coach, Mylina Claus, has seen tremendous growth as Karen has settled in and now usually only needs to coach Thoma for about an hour of her shift. When she first started, Mylina stayed with her for the whole shift. “At first she was nervous, so it took a little encouragement to let her know to talk with the employees,” Mylina said. “Her coaching supports have decreased, as they should. She’s done a great job.”
“I love Karen’s positive attitude. She’s determined to do the best she can at work.”
That determination earned her high marks from her manager on her most recent performance review. “She’s a hard worker,” David Munoz, store leader, told The Messenger. “She gets a lot done in a short amount of time. Karen is an important part of the team.”
One Vision strives to Connect People with Purpose, to see progress on dreams or goals they want to achieve. “We get a lot of our information through a process called Discovery. In discovery we are learning about an individual’s likes/dislikes, what their skill set is, and what really highlights them as a person,” Dana Scott, One Vision’s Employment Coordinator explains. “Based on that, it drives the rest of the job seeking process. For example, if we find out that someone enjoys cooking at home, we may explore that further by shadowing some different jobs where someone does cooking such as McDonald’s (fast-food style), Perkins (sit-down style), and HyVee (catering style).”
Each part of the process helps ES gather more information and continues to lay the path for their next steps. After an individual can visually see what jobs align with their interests and skill sets, they have an opportunity to physically try the job out before the commitment of being an employee and see if it’s still something they want and would like to do.
“We also try and figure out what provides someone with purpose,” adds Dana. “For example, it may just be getting a paycheck so they can contribute to their family or to be able to do the things they want. For some it may be helping others or feeling needed so we try and keep that in mind when we match people up as well.”