Callooh, Callay, we'll live today, like cabbages and kings! ------ Lewis Carroll from Alice in Wonderland
Whenever we receive visitors at JVS, the conversation will inevitably lead to community placements. Perhaps, this is because we at JVS pride ourselves on our placements. Frequently, people will ask, "how do you match your consumers with jobs?" Well, glad you asked! Let's look at JVS's king of cabbages, we'll call him Bill!
Bill had been a VIPer with JVS for a number of years while in Work Adjustment. One thing we know about Bill---he works hard! Bill quickly got a reputation for being a diligent and versatile worker. He also kept physically fit (when JVS was on Sternblock Lane, it was not uncommon for Bill to ride his bicycle to and from work), so he was able to do more strenuous, non-sedentary jobs. Eventually, Bill got to the point where he had mastered all the challenges in Work Adjustment, and he began expressing interest in a community job.
The biggest barrier to Bill getting a community job was that he wasn't sure what kind of job he wanted. Getting someone into placement without an idea of a career goal usually doesn't amount to a hill of beans. So, Bill's JVS Case Manager, Jerry Kuck, helped Bill by hooking him up with the JVS Community Specialist, who assisted Bill with vocational exploration. This also, in the spirit of person-centered planning, meant getting to know Bill---his hobbies, interests, etc. Bill was lukewarm to a number of job sites he toured, but the Community Specialist discovered this key bit of information---Bill loves vegetables.
At home, Bill really enjoys cooking and preparing vegetables. He slices, he dices--he does all kinds of preparation on vegetables. He has expert knowledge of all the different types of vegetables. While on grocery store tours, Bill could expertly identify all the various kinds of vegetables without looking at the signs. To use an old expression borrowed from my grandfather, Bjill really knows his onions. After some exploration in the field of vegetables, Bill arrived at his goal of working in a warehouse/store that specialized in vegetables.
In short order, Bill started Job Development looking for his job within the vegetable industry. Job Developers would pepper him with questions in mock interviews, and he flawlessly answered them, cool as a cucumber. A match was made with Queensgate Food Service, and Bill transitioned into community employment. Job Coaching did an excellent job of assisting Bill with learning the social routines and helping him fit in the environment.
Bill's job at Queensgate has mushroomed into a great career. After six years of service, Bill's supervisor recently remarked on what an asset Bill is to the company. Bill still comes by JVS Rossplain to participate in VIP outings and such, and is able to tell all the other participants about how much he likes his job. Bill is very appreciative of the support the Jewish Federation has given him throughout the process.