Meet Brittany! She was recently hired by Summa Health after participating in two innovative employment initiatives funded by Summit DD. When asked how she feels about being employed, Brittany replied “…I feel excited! And I feel really comfortable working in the community!”
Brittany began her path to employment back in February by participating in the Employment Engagement Program coordinated by Summit DD and a local private day program provider, Teammates. It’s a six-month program comprised of hands-on learning labs. In addition to helping participants understand the path to employment and identify areas of interests, the program focuses on exploring essential workplace qualities such as: communication, enthusiasm/attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving/critical thinking, and professionalism.
“Brittany worked diligently throughout the Employment Engagement Program! So much so that I recommended she apply for the Supported Transition Employment Program (STEP),” recalled Jenna Ashley, Summit DD Community Resource Specialist.
In partnership with Hattie Larlham and Summa Health, STEP helps job seekers with disabilities explore working in the healthcare industry by offering a one-of-a-kind opportunity to train across a wide variety of roles within Summa Health. Each trainee spends 90 days at Summa Health System Akron Campus exploring positions in a variety of departments, such as Nutrition Services, Environmental Services, Customer Service and Transport. Throughout the program, the trainee is supported by a Hattie Larlham Employment Specialist and at the end of the session, the trainee may identify an open position they are interested in applying for at Summa.
“Brittany thrived in STEP and by the end of the program she applied for a position with Summa in their Environmental Services Department. She was hired in late September. It has been so rewarding watching Brittany navigate her path to employment! I have to honestly say this has been one of my biggest highlights of 2023,” proudly shared Jenna Ashley, Summit DD Community Resource Specialist.
“As a parent I could not be more proud of Brittany! This has been such a joy for her and the independence she now has in herself is just a reflection of the fabulous work both Teammates and Hattie’s has provided for her,” commented Brittany’s mother, Cheri.
Learn More About Employment
The Employment Engagement Program and STEP are just two of the many employment programs funded by Summit DD. They are essential in the path to employment for teens and adults with developmental disabilities. Interested in learning more about these programs? Please contact Summit DD Manager Jan Dougherty.