By Greg Miller
President/CEO Penn-Mar Human Services
A wise man once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” There’s a lot to be said for an honest day’s work at a fair wage. It gives us a sense of pride and accomplishment, allows us to continually learn new skills, make friends, and become more independent, both personally and financially.
Individuals with disabilities want and deserve the same opportunity to choose their own career paths and at Penn-Mar Human Services we help them do just that.
Here’s what we believe:
- There is a job for everyone who wants one, regardless of disability;
- There are no pre-requisites;
- Everybody is ready to work;
- Penn-Mar will discover careers, not just jobs.
Our innovative Customized Employment Program uses a process we call “exploration and discovery” to identify each job seeker’s personal preferences, skills, interests and needs. We develop activities to prepare them for the interview and work environment, match them with local business partners, and provide on-going support and coaching to ensure they are well-suited and successful in their career.
These are real jobs with real rewards that enable our folks to earn a competitive wage; to receive benefits equal to the job’s responsibilities; and to enjoy the satisfaction of working to their maximum potential.
In the past year alone, we have assisted 99 individuals to successfully transition and participate in community employment in Pennsylvania and Maryland, where they are working as data entry clerks, machine operators, retail and childcare assistants, housekeepers, food preparers and servers.
And the list goes on.
The resources needed for us to achieve this degree of personalized support are not available from traditional sources.
We are continually looking to our supporters and new funding sources to help us maintain and enhance our customized approach to employment for the individuals we serve who are ready, willing and anxious to get to work and become part of the community.