Exploring jobs in the community

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“What would you like to do if you worked here?” asked Donna Kurtz as they sat down for lunch at the Skyline Chili in Oakley.

Mary Jane Whoberry, who was waiting for her four-way with no cheese, said she would vacuum or clean the windows.

Kurtz, a habilitation specialist, was there with six women who attend Jackson Adult Center and two other staff members on a community outing with an employment focus.

“We talk about what jobs are available and what they’d like to do,” said Caleigh McManaman, a direct support specialist at Jackson.

One of the women talked about how she used to work at McDonald’s, where she filled napkin holders, cleaned off tables and chairs, cut tomatoes and did other prep work, later adding she thinks she’d be able to do similar tasks other fast food restaurants.

Sandy Hardin, a direct support specialist at Jackson, said they go on these community outings a couple of times a week to learn about different jobs and explore various options at each place they visit. So far this year, the activities group has visited local library branches, restaurants, a florist, grocery stores and a fish hatchery.

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