Working in His Dream Job
Palm Bay, FL – Glenn Reaves is proud to be a Materials Analyst for Harris Corporation, working in a new career he loves with an organization who is glad to have him. “He’s very hard working, and he comes to work on time,” says Tom Charland, Glenn’s Stockroom Supervisor. “He’s an excellent employee.”
After being out of work for several years, Glenn, who has a learning disability, was having a difficult time finding a job. A family member told him about Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), where he met VR Counselor Danielle Jones.
Danielle provided counseling and guidance, and paired Glenn with Job Coach Betsy Farmer, who focused on getting him ready for employment by building up his self-confidence. “Glenn had to feel better about himself in order to get a job,” says Betsy. Through Promise in Brevard, Glenn received dental work, eye glasses and other necessary services so he could succeed on the job.
Although Glenn had previous experience in the restaurant business, he decided that his dream job would be to work on a factory assembly line. Since this was a new field for Glenn, Danielle knew he would benefit from VR’s On-the-Job Training (OJT) program. During OJT, employers train potential employees and give them the opportunity to experience working in a real-world setting. VR pays the employee’s salary during OJT, along with reasonable training costs and any accommodations needed. It’s a win-win situation for both employers and employees.
While driving him to the interview for the OJT at Harris, Betsy encouraged Glenn to aspire to the career that he wanted. “I said, ‘you go in there and let that manager know you want this job and why you want this job,’” says Betsy. Glenn made an immediate impression.
“There were five individuals and Glenn was the one that stood out above and beyond the rest,” says Bob Rhoads, Manager of the Stockroom, Shipping and Receiving, and Production Control at Harris. After nine months of training, Glenn was hired as a permanent employee. “The OJT opened a door for Glenn,” says Danielle. “He proved his worth and was immediately offered a job and a pay raise.”
At Harris, Glenn works on the assembly line, distributing materials that come back from returns. Employees in his department receive cross training in other areas, so Glenn now has experience in shipping and receiving as well. “Glenn was able to learn very quickly his role in every department he worked in,” says Tom. “Whether it was the stock room or receiving, he was able to pick up the process.”
Glenn contributes to the team by giving advice on how the corporation can improve. “He was able to give us some improvements that we could expand on,” says Tom. Bob and Tom agree Glenn’s “can do” attitude and dedication make him a success.
Glenn is currently working in a specialized program to help him earn his GED and also plans to get his driver’s license so he can become a forklift driver.
Danielle is very proud of Glenn. “What makes Glenn a success is that he wanted a change and he was willing to do what he needed to make it happen,” she says. “He put forth an amazing effort throughout his rigorous training program. All while studying to improve his education.”
Betsy agrees, “It’s just a beautiful story that I hope inspires other people.”
If your business would like to participate in the On-the-Job Training program, contact your local VR office at (800) 451-4327 or visit Rehabworks.org for a list of offices near you.
Florida’s Vocational Rehabilitation program is committed to helping people with disabilities become part of America’s workforce. Our employer-focused website, FLJobConnections.com, allows businesses to search at no charge for employees who are ready to go to work, as well as to post available jobs. VR has 111 offices across Florida, and last year helped 6,071 Floridians with significant disabilities find or keep a job. For more information about VR and its services, call (800) 451-4327 or visit Rehabworks.org.