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Self Discovery Leads to Enjoyment through Employment – Intandem

Like most of us, Tim wanted to find his dream job. Something that would allow him to showcase his talents and skills while doing what he truly enjoyed. The ReHabilitation Center’s Employment Connection program, and his job coach, Beth, were able to help him do just that.

Three years ago Tim was an assembly worker at Subcon and was eager to find a different job in the Olean community.  He began his job search by participating in the Pathway to Employment program with staff from Subcon.  Through the program’s ‘Discovery’ process, he learned about his strengths, personal interests, and level of supports he would need to succeed.  He completed a variety of exploration activities including interviews with people close to Tim — family, friends, roommates, past employers, and staff — and career exploration through hands-on work and volunteer experiences.  Tim chose to try work unloading the truck at Loaves and Fishes food pantry, doing dishes at Union Tea, and landscaping/outdoor work/painting and bench assembly at JCC.  He learned again how much he liked being outside, and wanted to paint again.

Taking what he learned from these experiences, Tim was offered the opportunity to enroll in the OPWDD Employment Training Program (ETP). This program offers two incentives for employers to give Tim a chance to work – he is paid by NYS OPWDD for a period of time; and, both he and the employer have the benefit of Beth’s supportive coaching services.

Beth took a detailed look at Tim’s likes and dislikes, his hobbies and interests, in an effort to find a placement that was best suited for him. “This process is very important, because it helps us in finding employment the person actually likes, instead of just finding a job and plugging them into it,” said Beth. “We find they are much more successful and vested as a result.”

With Beth he has participated in several more workplace assessments including stocking shelves at Worth W. Smith, cleaning plant trays for Canticle Farms, and also was an ‘actor’ in a Pathway video for OPWDD. For that project he assisted with the disassembly of a park bench and prepped it for painting. In doing this, Tim learned that he enjoys working outdoors and with tools, prefers to be moving around and active, and wants to be part of a team.  “He really likes being around people,” said Beth

Tim’s current position as a ‘waver’ with Liberty Tax fits all of these criteria. Beth approached Liberty Tax and inquired if they would be interested in interviewing him. The rest was history. In fact, Tim hasn’t missed a day of work since January, and loves what he does. “He shows up rain, snow, sleet or shine,” said Beth. “He walks most days from his home in Olean.”

“I love working here. I like meeting so many different people, and the money doesn’t hurt.” said Tim with a smile when asked how he likes his job. “Sometimes people can be obnoxious when they are driving by, but I don’t let it bother me.”

The process hasn’t been without its challenges. “Tim hates to get up,” laughed Beth. “But making money is very important to him.”

You can see Tim waving the Liberty Tax sign on State Street Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The position is seasonal and will end in April, but Tim has another opportunity lined up at Canticle Farms that starts in the spring.

When he isn’t working, Tim attends the agency’s day program, likes to play poker and enjoys outdoor activities.  “I like Pokémon Go, basketball, football and hockey,” said Tim. He attended his first Bonaventure game this year and loved it. He has lived in an agency residence for over 5 years and has friends from both rehab center programs and the community, and a big family in Ellicottville.

Although they weren’t all an ideal fit, Tim’s work experiences gave him further insight on what he wants personally and professionally. Our job coaches and other staff are honored to be a supportive part of this process. Click Here learn more about our Employment Connection program.