The job search process can be challenging for many people, and even more difficult for some individuals with developmental disabilities.
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, a program run through Hamilton County DD Services aims to guide people with developmental disabilities through every step of the employment process.
“Many of these individuals don’t know the requirements of how to get a job, and we are here to help them transition into individuals that are equipped and ready for job employment,” said Rhonda Craig, a Service and Support Administrator (SSA) Supervisor, who runs the Jobs, Jobs, Jobs program with SSA Tanya Godbold. “Our main goal through this program is to help each individual get a job, be successful in that job, and to keep it. I want them to call me a year from now telling me how happy they are at their job.”
The group meets every other Wednesday to review career development tools to help individuals find a job. These meetings include everything from help with filling out job applications and mock interviews, to cover letter and resume building exercises, and proper interview attire.
“At each meeting, I expect all individuals to have the mindset that they are at their place of employment. How they behave at these meetings will show me if they are ready for the employment world or not,” Craig said. When Craig and Godbold believe a participant is ready for employment, he or she is paired with a supervisor to start the job search process.
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs teaches participants how to build strong communication skills, and how to act in a professional environment
While the focus is on employment, the program also helps instill confidence in the participants to help them reach their personal goals, and allows them to take pride and responsibility in how far they have come.
Craig tells each individual that, “You have to start somewhere to get somewhere. Everything you get in life you have earned, and your successes will be well deserved because of your hard work and dedication to wanting to better yourselves for your futures.”
The program also partners with Dress for Success, a nonprofit organization that provides professional business attire for disadvantaged women. Every client receives one suit when she has a job interview and additional work-appropriate apparel once she becomes employed.