Volume 1, Issue 6

December 2019

Working together to make a difference.

Integration at the workplace is our goal!

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Another NEW year is approaching and we all are continuing with the same enthusiasm to assist and give the best services to our clients!  2020 is going to be GREAT! Let’s be thankful in this season for such great TEAMWORK between VR counselors, technicians, supervisors and directors for always caring so deeply for the success of each of our clients.  For a great year, cheers!!! Blessings for all for the 2020 year!

NEWS NEWS NEWS:  We opened a classroom in the Winter Haven area for all Work Readiness Trainings.  We currently have two awesome and experienced teachers that will be delighted to assist and train our clients. If you are in the area, please stop by and give us your feedback!

We also want to take this opportunity to welcome ES MANUEL GONZALEZ to the Next Steps Employment Services Family!  Manuel has years of experience working in the private sector, where he passionately worked with and trained people with disabilities.  Manuel will be working in and supervising the Miami Dade Area.  Welcome!

NSES Success Story:

Frederick Fields

Frederick Fields graduated high school in May, 2019, and was given the opportunity to do an OJT at Collins Aerospace Winslow Life Raft located in Lake Suzy, Florida. Collins Aerospace is a well-known and respected plant known for its excellence and superior quality products for over 75 years. They graciously agreed to the OJT and Frederick started his training June 5, 2019, on the repair side of the plant. By the time Frederick began OJT #3, he had proved himself to be a client they wanted to hire. His good work ethic, great attitude and the ability to learn the job well contributed to his supervisor’s recommendation to hire him as a full-time employee there. He was making such a difference at the factory that Matt Morgan, the HR director, took notice. Once the decision was made that they were going to hire him, they moved Frederick to the production side of the factory. When asked which side of the factory he liked working on, Frederick replied with a grin, “Both!”.

He likes his job very much and is very happy to be working 40 hours a week. Frederick began full-time employment on Thursday, December 5, 2019. He is excited for his new future there and they are happy to have him! Way to go!

NSES Success Story:

Marjorie Lampone

As a volunteer at the local SPCA, Marjorie entered the shelter with the intention of providing attention and love to improve the animals’ lives, but the earnest affection she provided was more than reciprocated, ultimately improving her own life. Working at the shelter, she was confronted with certain discomforts: the loud barking, cleaning up waste and the deep ache she felt when meeting a neglected or abandoned animal. However, the sincere joy of interacting with the dogs and cats by brightening their day overwhelmed any reservations.

At the shelter, she could leave all her worries behind and fully engross herself with the needs of the animals. She was struck by the happy and hopeful countenance of so many of the animals despite their situation. When the animals acted timid in this chaotic setting, it reminded her of how important it is that these animals find caring homes. Working with the shy dogs and cats has taught her to be very patient and gentle. The progression may be slow, but by simply being a calm, positive presence for the dog or cat , you can help them gain trust and comfort. It was so satisfying when one of these animals finally allowed her to pet them and sought out her attention.

Each week as she left the shelter, she left with the same feeling of contentment and happiness. Marjorie shared that her dream career is to become an actress and use that platform to be an ambassador for all shelter animals. Good luck!

NSES Success Story:

Kyle Solórzano

Kyle Solórzano was appreciative for the OJT experience that ES Miguel found for him at Subway. Subway is a very popular eating establishment that maintains strict standards when serving its customers. This was to be Kyle’s first OJT experience! He was eager to join the staff and help out doing whatever he was trained to do.

Tiffany Baker, the store owner and manager of Subway, is on the right in the above picture and she gave Kyle this wonderful OJT opportunity. She was thrilled to work with our client. Tiffany conveyed to ES that Kyle did a ‘magnificent job’ working all three weeks of the OJT. She appreciated that Kyle was always focused on his work, was an astute learner, did his work very proudly and always went out of his way to help his coworkers and customers. She also expressed to ES that she would take Kyle back in a heartbeat and would like to have more workers like Kyle. While there, Kyle learned how to make different types of subs, wraps and salads, but – most of all – he learned how to provide superb customer service and interact respectfully with the customers. Tiffany related to ES that all the sandwich shop workers enjoyed and appreciated his help. Kyle informed ES that he enjoyed the job, felt valued and welcomed. High-fives all around!

NSES Success Story:

Anthony Fred-Santiago

Anthony Fred- Santiago is so grateful to have this opportunity to do his On- the -Job Training (OJT) at Crowder Bros. Ace Hardware Store.  Crowder Bros is a local, family-owned and very respected business.  Anthony shared that this OJT experience has been invaluable to his skills growth.

“When I first started, I was scared that I wasn’t good enough, or that I wouldn’t be able to do the work. This opportunity has encouraged me to grow my skills and helped me gain confidence. I learn something new every day!”, he related when asked by ES. Along with his schooling and this OJT, Anthony has been participating in our program as of September, 2019.

He is confident that his new skills and training will help him secure a fulfilling and exciting new career. Anthony’s attitude and determination to succeed has shown through in his work and his daily life. Great job!

NSES Success Story:

Dustin McDonald

Dustin McDonald has discovered that working at the Humane Society is more than walking dogs or playing with cats. The Humane Society staff is tasked with providing food and lodging for abandoned animals that are brought or found by the community to them daily.

Dustin came to the Humane Society with the intent of getting things clean and ready for the next group of animals that will need blankets and towels. Every day the caring staff go through the building and clean the animal cages and replace the bedding. All the soiled bedding and towels go to the laundry. It is here that you will find Dustin helping out. Dustin along with his ES, Donna Juillerat, spends time loading and unloading the 3 washers and dryers at the shelter.

Dustin works steadily along washing and then folding the clean towels and blankets. Dustin works quickly and likes to stay busy. However, when he does have a few minutes to wait while the washers and dryers are working, then he goes to play with the cats. This is his time to give back to the rescued or abandoned animals that the Humane Society is so good at sheltering. The cat room is quiet and relaxing. He enjoys playing with the cats, that is if he can wake them from their naps! Most of them just enjoy being petted. Then after a while it is back to work putting more laundry in the washers.

Dustin said, “This is the best OJT I’ve had.” He really likes it there because he knows he is making a difference every time he goes. Time well-spent!

We feel incredibly fortunate to be able to help our clients gain applicable work experience through the OJT programs we have in place. With the help of our Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) counselors, our clients work together as a TEAM to get the knowledge they need to be successful in the workplace. Kudos to the Vocational Rehabilitation staff for all that they do!

Offering services in:
Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Hardee, DeSoto, Highlands, Charlotte, Lee, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties