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Adding Value to His Team

Frankie always knew he had the skills to be a valued teammate, but with your support, EmployAbility helped connect him to a job that utilizes his abilities and has helped him create natural supports at the same time!

The following article was featured in the November 2018 issue of Skidaway Islands Neighbors Magazine, published by Best Version Media.

Frankie is a quiet and reserved young man who truly enjoys his job at The Landings Club. Employed for the past two years as a member of the kitchen support team, he takes great pride in doing his best each and every day. Incredibly motivated, he washes dishes and makes sure that the kitchen is spotless. Not one to sit still, he keeps himself busy and works hard to support his co-workers; he appreciates how welcome they make him feel and is happy to be part of such a strong team.

Currently working at Deer Creek, Frankie’s long-time colleague, Chef Ryan Smith, says “Everything that I ask Frankie to do, he does exceptionally well.”

He goes on to share that Frankie is a self-starter and that he brings tremendous value to the team. Frankie found his job at the Landings Club through his job coach at EmployAbility.

A local 501(c)3 non-profit, EmployAbility’s mission is to prepare adults with developmental disabilities for employment and community integration. Committed to developing career opportunities with a future, connecting with developing industries to build connections that will result in increased community and workplace inclusion, EmployAbility’s staff and leadership envision a community where people with disabilities are more broadly valued, hired by employers, receiving support, and participating in ordinary activities.

Originally founded in 1951 by parents looking to create new opportunities for their children, EmployAbility has evolved to serve over 400 individuals through three programs, which work to connect adults with developmental disabilities (IDD) to training and employment opportunities. EmployAbility provides services in Chatham, Effingham, and Bryan counties through three main programs: Day Habilitation, Prevocational Training, and Community Employment Services.

Prevocational Training serves approximately 162 individuals building employment skills before moving on to community employment. The individuals work in small groups with instructors on a variety of training programs, including packaging and logistics, specialized assembly, culinary arts, and custom printing.

EmployAbility also supports ongoing community integration through the Community Access program. Community Access was designed to support skill-building opportunities for adults with IDD as a stepping stone to community employment. In addition to task-oriented skill-building, participants have the chance to develop their social skills through a combination of group and one-on-one interactions with instructors, other participants, and community partners.

Once employed, individuals receive ongoing support from job coaches who work alongside them to ensure that they are successful in the placement. Coaching continues throughout the individual’s employment, with additional onsite training. During this time, the job coach may provide assistance with skill acquisition, problem-solving, time management, co-worker and supervisor relations, and conflict resolution, as well as ensuring that any additional responsibilities or changes in duties are fully understood and implemented.

Frankie’s mom, Nydia, is grateful for the coaching that has led to her son finding a job that he enjoys and the support that helps him to be successful in it. “EmployAbility is truly a blessing. I tell my friends that I don’t know what I’d do without them!” She appreciates the one-on-one attention that Frankie receives and knowing that EmployAbility staff is ready to help connect them to resources they may need.

Frankie is just one of many individuals with IDD in the Savannah area with a job he loves and new-found sense of confidence.

To learn more about the organization and how you can support programs for those with IDD, please visit: www. employabilityga.org or call 912-644-7500.

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