Paul Makes a Career Move and Excels

Written by Karen Lyman, Program Manager, in celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Paul had worked for five years as a courtesy clerk at a local grocery store when it was bought out. Six months later, Paul was unemployed.

-Paul had not received a raise in five years... he was still not paid above minimum wage.-

When Paul, a person Bethesda supports in Portland, Oregon, met with his Employment Specialist, Karen Lyman, to discuss his employment goals, he told her he wanted to find a job where he could have true opportunity for advancement. Paul was a hard worker but he had not received even one raise in the five years he had been working as a courtesy clerk and was still not above minimum wage after all that time. Karen and Paul made a plan to seek employment at companies where his efforts would be recognized and advancement opportunities would be available.

In May 2016, Paul applied for a new position that had been created at Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU). Karen was a member of OHSU’s Community Advisory Council for Recruiting People with Disabilities so she had the opportunity to share her viewpoints. She provided input on how OHSU could successfully use innovative job carving concepts to be more effective in creating inclusive employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. This committee helped OHSU develop a new employment program which created six new job positions. These positions addressed areas of need where necessary work was not being accomplished.

-He started receiving a wage 48 percent higher than his previous earnings.-With Karen’s assistance Paul applied for one of those positions. He aced his panel interview with OHSU and was hired as a Custodian! He received a starting wage that was 48 percent higher than his previous earnings as a courtesy clerk, with a raise likely within six months. Although Paul was very excited to finally receive a competitive wage, he said that he was most excited about working in a place where he could grow, learn and achieve and have the opportunity for advancement that he had been seeking. Paul has only been working at OHSU for a few months but he has already impressed his supervisors with his excellent work ethic and skills and they say Paul’s efforts have made a significant impact on improving the environment for customers at OHSU and this is helping OHSU serve the community more effectively.

Paul’s diligent efforts have helped this program to be a success. Managers at OHSU are now working to identify additional jobs tasks that could be carved out of existing job descriptions to resolve the many unmet needs in various departments, and this will create significantly more job opportunities at OHSU for people with disabilities. Paul is very happy to be a part of the OHSU team and he is looking forward to building a great career there.



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