Crystal came to The Disability Network (TDN) with a clear goal: to get a job. She immediately connected with TDN’s Job Club which provides wrap-around supports for customers who are actively applying for employment in their surrounding community. Customers receive one-on-one assistance in job searching, uploading documents, completing assessments, and documenting their activity in a journal.
“When customers get their call for an interview, staff provides a mock interview with constructive feedback so the next call that the customer receives is, ‘you’re hired!’” said Kelly Milam, Employment Specialist at TDN.
When Crystal joined Job Club, she made it clear that income wasn’t the only the only reason for seeking employment. “I wanted to get out [into the community] and meet new people,” and develop a bigger network. She worked to develop interview skills, résumés and cover letters and completed numerous job applications. She also worked on developing a support network.
One person, or “champion” as Crystal described, who she added to her professional network helped advocate with Crystal’s future supervisor during the hiring process. Crystal finally got called for an interview and was offered and accepted a security position at Grand Blanc High School. “Everything is going really good,” Crystal said of her job experience. “I really enjoy it.”
When asked about the work culture, Crystal feels it’s very open and inclusive. “At the end of the day, my boss just wants someone who is trustworthy and dependable, which really has nothing to do with disability.” Disability isn’t seen as a weakness, just a part of who the person is.
“I greatly appreciate TDN and everyone who works there, especially Carrie D, Kelly and Gina.”