Photo a a young man named Max and his team of developmental disabilities professionals.

Teamwork to the Max!

Summit DD take prides in connecting people with developmental disabilities to the services they need to thrive. It takes months and sometimes years of teamwork and collaboration across internal Summit DD departments and external organizations. But our dedicated team members and community partners never shy away from pursuing what’s best for those we serve.

Meet Max! A young man with a desire to learn more about science and technology. When he first entered the workforce, he found it hard to find the right fit. “He knew inside that he could do more. He is a very strong young man,” shared Vincent Taylor, Max’s Summit DD Service and Support Administrator (SSA). As an SSA, Vincent is at the center of Max’s services. He listens and then finds the right resources for Max so he can be empowered to reach his own goals.

After learning that Max was having difficulty finding the right job, Vincent researched a better solution. With the help of his Summit DD teammates Jenna Ashley (Community Resource Specialist) and Beth Walters (Employment Navigator), he discovered the Supported Transition Employment Program (STEP). 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.

Max began his STEP journey working in Summa’s Receiving Department. He then transferred to Environmental Services and immediately enjoyed interacting with the patients. A position opened at Summa, so he began practicing mock interviews with his STEP staff to prepare. His dedication and diligence landed him the job!

“Max’s emotional intelligence and confidence bloomed,” proudly shared Lauri Molnar, Hattie Larlham STEP Program Coordinator. “Max has become a mentor to new STEP trainees and has welcomed them to Summa sharing his success proudly!” continued Lauri.

“It’s always great to see someone find a job they enjoy!” said Beth Walters, Summit DD Employment Navigator. In June of 2024, Max will reach his one-year anniversary working at Summa! “Watching the growth in Max over the past year has been amazing. When I run into Max in the halls of Summa, he always brightens my day. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Max with his career at Summa,” commented Jenna Ashley, Summit DD Community Resource Specialist.

Photo a a young man named Max and his team of developmental disabilities professionals.Photo of a young man named Max and his team of developmental disabilities professionals.

Max is not alone in succeeding at STEP! Check out Brittany’s Path to Employment. Also, check out the Employment Engagement Program, a precursor to the STEP initiative.

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