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Success Story: Brody

Nineteen-year-old Brody had no employment history and was lacking in marketable work skills when he was referred to Goodwill’s Supported Employment Program by Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS). Brody has autism.

A Goodwill employment specialist provided Brody with a variety of one-on-one job-readiness training, including résumé assistance, job searches, help with completing applications, and interview skills coaching.

In August, Brody was placed in Goodwill’s retail production department as a production assistant, sorting textiles and other donated goods. After successfully learning the tasks of his job, he was promoted to operating the department’s baler machine, which compresses and bundles unsalable textiles for shipment to salvage recyclers.

Brody used the MATS GO bus to get to and from work, which at times was challenging, as arrangements had to be made two weeks in advance. His Goodwill employment specialist assisted in facilitating this transportation service with MRS, and helped pay the fee until Brody received his first paycheck.

Having no prior experience with workplace practices or dynamics, Brody has grown tremendously during his employment and continues to work hard at expanding his skills.

Brody recently decided that he wanted to try finding a position closer to his home in Whitehall. He applied for a position at the Whitehall Shopko and secured an interview. A couple days after the interview he was offered a position as a grocery stocker. Brody secured this community position without any direct assistance. This is a big step in Brody’s growth as an adult. It also illustrates the program’s ability to foster strong work skills, confidence, and independence after nine months of supported employment through Goodwill.

Brody is determined to maintain his employment with Shopko and hopes to build his résumé so he can achieve his goal of working in a video game or movie store.

 

Supported Employment Program

Targeted primarily toward people with developmental disabilities or mental impairment, this model of service provides one-on-one training and on-going support for successful transition to community-based employment. The program combines community job development, job coaching, and long-term follow-up to maximize employment potential. Participants are referred through Michigan Rehabilitation Services.

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