Looking for the perfect employee?Easter Seals recognizes Supported Employment Month
Finding the perfect employee is hard to do. However, Johnny Janosik Inc. in Laurel found just that in Terrell, who has an intellectual disability and participates in Easter Seals’ job development and training program.
“I’d like to have five more like Terrell,” said Norman Norcisa, director of warehouse operations for Johnny Janosik Inc. “Terrell comes to work every day happy, ready to work and focused on what he needs to do even faster than some of his peers. I don’t focus on Terrell’s disability. I focus on his abilities and our ability to match them with the need we have. When we match these needs, it becomes a win-win situation.”
A full-time employee with benefits, Terrell has worked at Johnny Janosik’s for 11 years, mastering several jobs including furniture assembly, cardboard baler and return lane assistant. He recently has been trained to assist drivers and help with deliveries.
Easter Seals recognizes Supported Employment Month and celebrates all of the hardworking participants like Terrell who are involved in the Supported Employment program. The program gives adults with intellectual disabilities, including autism, the choice to experience the community through individualized employment. The program matches participants with jobs in local businesses so they can earn competitive wages with the assistance of job coaching and training. Once trained in their position, participants work on their own in order to gain more independence. Ongoing supports are provided to help participants be successful in the job.
“Our goal is to give people with disabilities the self-worth and sense of achievement they need to feel like they are part of the community,” said Kim Sgromo, Easter Seals employment specialist. “At the same time, we help employers understand that hiring a person with a disability is a true benefit for the business and gives them access to employees who are reliable, hardworking and dedicated to their job.”
Terrell is such a terrific employee, he was nominated for employee of the year through the Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. This was a great accomplishment for both Terrell and for Johnny Janosik Inc.
“I understand some employers might have a slight apprehension to hire people who have certain disabilities,” Norcisa said. “But I found that Easter Seals comes in and works with the employee to ensure that he or she understands the job perfectly and can perform to the standards the company needs.”
Along with Supported Employment, Easter Seals offers a range of services including children’s therapies, recreational camping, assistive technology, day programs for adults with physical or intellectual disabilities, and respite services for caregivers. To learn more about how Easter Seals helps children and adults with disabilities, call 1-800-677-3800 or go to www.de.easterseals.com.