Success Stories 2021
Rebecca came to ENSO hoping to salvage her job at a local Coffee Roaster. She was responsible for filling orders for packaged coffee. Rebecca had been on the job for about a year when her management changed. Her hours were cut and she was subsequently asked not to participate in lunch or breaks with co-workers.
After working with ENSO it was decided Rebecca wanted a change. Her ideal job was to work in an office setting. Rebecca worked with her ENSO staff to create a resume and cover letter and practice her interview skills.
Just about a month after leaving her job at the Coffee Roaster. Rebecca interviewed for an office assistant job with Benaroya Research Institute. She was offered the job and currently is working three days at 12 hours a week.
Rebecca is learning new skills and really enjoys her co-workers and her new job duties.
After completing his successful CBA at the Federal Way Community Center cleaning exercise equipment and folding towels, Marcus requested only one place that he wished to be employed, L.A. Fitness in Kent. No where else would do. After one online application, one resume in person, one follow-up phone call, and one in person visit with a resume, L.A. Fitness called requesting an interview. That interview resulted in a job offer for a janitor position just as Marcus had requested. Marcus has been working at L.A. Fitness and has received nothing but praise from his supervisor and from the guests. The guests have been heard to tell him he is doing a great job. Rolley, his supervisor tells him that he is so detail oriented that he would like Marcus to work more hours and help get the rest of the place as clean. Marcus is very happy at L.A. Fitness and is making new friends. His manager wants to learn sign language so he can talk to Marcus himself and tell him what a great job he is doing in such a short amount of time.
When ENSO first met Mindy we asked her about her goals. She replied the two most important ones to her were to become more independent and to have a paid job. Over that past few years Mindy has worked on her independence and stamina by working jobs that were volunteer, seasonal or very few hours. When she and her team felt her work ethic had increased and her ability to independently take ACCESS bus was mastered she was ready to find a paid job in the community. Mindy applied, interviewed, and was offered a job at QFC in Northshore as a Courtesy Clerk. She works 3.75 hours a day, 5 days a week, and receives benefits! Mindy even arranges her own transportation and travels independently on an Access bus.
Mindy is a wonderful story of perseverance, growth, and an example that with the appropriate support, people can achieve their goals. Mindy has experienced extraordinary personal and professional growth. Way to go Mindy.
Albert came to ENSO wanting to change his occupation. Albert had 17 years in a restaurant setting. He knew that he wanted to work in customer service because he really likes helping people. He applied at Fred Meyer in Auburn and after a few follow-up phone calls, Albert was offered the job of Courtesy Clerk. Albert struggled at first, the schedule would change a lot and there were a lot of other clerks wanting to help Albert succeed. He learned so many different ways to be a clerk that he was able to hone in on which way worked for him. He now performs his job the way that he is comfortable doing and has learned to relax and enjoy working and being outside in the fresh air. He enjoys helping his customers and will go out of his way to ensure they have a positive shopping experience.
One day, Albert came across a customer in a motorized cart and the cart batteries had lost their charge. Since there were no carts nearby, Albert walked to the other side of the store to replace the cart for the customer.
He has also received a thank you letter from a customer who appreciated his help.
Lacey continues to grow at Eastern Washington University's Children's Center. She becomes more independent each year and continues to develop new relationships with her co-workers as well as with the children. Lacey has always been very quiet. Over the last year she has become much more conversational and even sings songs and reads books to and with the children. Lacey was struggling with being 5 minutes late to work and not feeling confident enough to provide diaper changes on her own. Now she does diaper changes completely on her own without any assistance and she is on time for work every day. The staff and children love Lacey and frequently say how happy they are to have her as a part of the team!
Tony absolutely loves washing dishes at Bene's, and he is good at it. Tony has been working at Bene's for over a year! In that time he has created great relationships with the owner, manager, and all of his co-workers. They all joke and work together to make a great kitchen team. Tony's skills continue to grow and he will be adding more tasks to his job duty list in the fall.
When ENSO staff began working with Alan, he expressed his goal or reason for wanting a job was to save money for a trip to Japan in the summer and allow his parents to be able to retire to their homeland. Alan had previous work experience working in his parent’s bakery and at Ivar’s Seafood Restaurant. He wanted to gain new experience working as a Stock Associate or continue to develop his skills working in a restaurant. After going over job openings and places he’d enjoy working at, it was discovered that his mom worked at McDonald’s for ten years and he expressed a desire to work there too. ENSO staff were able to support in setting up an interview at the closest McDonald’s to his home and he was hired as part of the production team. His supervisor was very excited to have him as part of the team and glad to see he had baking experience.
ENSO staff began working with Jazmine in the summer of 2017. Jazmine showed she had a very expressive sense of fashion and enjoyed shopping at thrift stores. Once she completed her CBA at Value `Village she was ready for a paid job. Jazmine’s goal was to earn enough money to get her license, a car, and move out on her own.
Upon moving into job placement, Jazmine decided she wanted to pursue a job in retail and took strides to overcome anxiety she experienced in interviews and discomfort around interacting with customers. She was hired at Fred Meyer in Everett as a Home Clerk. She quickly adjusted to her position and developed supportive relationships with her co-workers.
As the retention contract came to an end, Jazmine was set to have her hours increase for the holidays and was scheduled to work on black Friday. Jazmine was able to complete her shift and made it through the busiest day of the year.
Recap from last years success story -
Christina is a hardworking, devoted worker and eager to learn. ENSO has been working with Christina for several years through employment and most recently searching for new employment and gaining social skills. Christina is a person of few words, so it took time for Christina to talk and communicate what she likes and wants to do. Working with Able Opportunities on Christina’s video resume helped build a solid communication relationship between Christina and ENSO.
Using the skills she learned from putting together her video resume and using it in mock interviews…
Christina began working for Fred Meyer using the Work Autonomy application on an iPad. She quickly understood the technology and used the task list in the app to learn her tasks quicker. Before any time at all, Christina new her schedule completely! She worked hard, and continues to work hard every day. The staff and management at Fred Meyer is constantly saying how great Christina is at her job, how quickly and efficiently she performs her tasks, and how great she is to be around. She is, and will continue to be, a very valued employee of Fred Meyer.
When ENSO staff first started working with Ramon he was always anxious and it was hard for him to stay focus on the task at hand and he was ready to go home the minute he arrived. ENSO staff was able to carve a paid position for Jose Ramon at the Kent Sea Mar Clinic. Jose Ramon's job duties include sanitizing the clip boards, cleaning the children's area which includes the table and sanitizing the books. Since Jose Ramon is nonverbal he has 3 separate greeting boards he holds so he can greet the patients as they arrive and another board that he holds up to thank them for coming into the clinic. Because Se Mar in Signs are in Spanish and English due to Sea Mar being based more on the Hispanic community. Jose enjoys being at work and his coworkers look forward to seeing his big smile and hearing his sweet laugh when he comes to work. In April, Jose Ramon won Employee of the month after being nominated by his coworkers and office staff for. It was a great moment! He continues to show improvements every day at work and is a joy to have in the clinic.
Lisa came to ENSO with many years of experience working as an administrative assistant. She had setbacks happen in her life that took her out of the workforce but she worked hard to become ready to work. ENSO staff supported her in the job search process where she learned how to format a resume, navigate job board websites, submit applications and write cover letters. Lisa took a break in her job search because she was offered a temporary job in an office and kept that job for 6 months. She was able to gain recent work experience and glowing references. When she came back to ENSO, Lisa was hired within a few months working as a Front Desk Receptionist at Green Lake Health Center. Lisa stated that ENSO made cover letters look simple and made a huge difference in her journey for the right job.
In 2018 Alfred Lewis had applied for a job at Jiffy Lube and accepted the role of Courtesy Technician in October. At Jiffy Lube Alfred greets customers, washes windows and vacuums car floor mats. Alfred has said that he has enjoyed his time working there. He is very grateful of his supportive managers Jerame and Shirley who help coach him along the way. Alfred’s managers have boasted that he puts in 110% when he is there and always has a positive attitude, and is happy to come in to work extra shifts. Alfred strives to build on his skills, make sure the customers feel special and most importantly to have fun!
Willie’s number one choice for a job was at Amazon. ENSO staff worked with Willie to apply, interview and get her job at Amazon. Because Willie does not like working alone so she wanted to work on a team, and this job is a great fit as she is always in a team environment.
She had to go through a working interview and role play and nailed the working interview. Willie got the job and is scheduled to work from noon until 6 pm, Monday through Friday.
Her supervisors said that she does a great job and is a quick learner she fits in great with her team.
Adam came to ENSO with a great work history. For two years he had been working at a job that did detailing and cleaning. After searching for the right job, the perfect position was found - a janitor for the local gym. Here Adam could show off his detailing skills and continue to work in a field that he enjoyed. Adam worked with ENSO to print his resume and present it to the manager. A week later, he received a call from the manager of LA Fitness asking if she could meet with him for an interview. Adam had his interview and a week later, Adam received the anticipated phone call stating that “L.A. Fitness would like to offer Adam the job of janitor if he is still interested.” Adam was overjoyed!
Adam learned his duties and has already mastered some of the more challenging aspects of his job. He can now clean windows without streaks and can mop the floor using the best technique. He is currently learning how to detail-clean the exercise equipment to his manager’s satisfaction. His manager has stated that she is impressed with his work performance and she couldn’t ask for a better employee.
David has worked for St. Vincent de Paul for over 5 years. He started working there as a volunteer, and was hired on as an employee in September, 2018. David has shown his dedication and is enthusiastic about working for an organization whose mission it is to help others.
David’s main duties are supporting the production area by processing donated clothing, hanging clothing that is in either new or gently used condition. David is also responsible for taking the mobile clothing rack out onto the floor, and stocking the clothing for customers to shop.
Cathy, David’s supervisor, has told David “I really need you here.” She references often how valuable he is as an employee. David shows this strength as he interacts with the store customers. He is eager to help any customer who needs it and is ready and willing to step in and help when asked.
Logan came to ENSO looking for his first paid job. Logan’s father has a construction background and thought that he may want to follow in his dad’s footsteps. ENSO was able to partner with McLendon’s Hardware where Logan was able to learn about the different departments. After his assessment he was offered a seasonal position. With the skills and confidence Logan gained at McLendon’s Logan went looking for a permanent job.
Originally Logan applied at Fred Meyer for the Stocker position. When he went in for the interview he was told they no longer had an open stocker position. However, they wanted to offer him the job of Courtesy Clerk if he was interested. Logan was overjoyed and accepted the position. It didn’t take him long to learn the role since he had already had experience in collecting carts. He has made many new friends at work and natural supports.
Steve came to ENSO through the School to Work program from Highline School District. He has made huge strides in his work ability over the past few years. Before coming to the program, he had difficulty adapting to new environments and working for prolonged periods of time. Throughout his time at school, Steve was able to practice his patience and perseverance and has been able to find paid employment through the South King Fire Department. Steve is now a Support Services Worker for the South King Fire Department, assisting the fire station near to his home. He does shredding, sweeping, mopping and other light janitorial duties at the fire station floor. Steve is close to his home and family, while doing a job that he enjoys and helping his community in numerous ways.
Aly began her job search with no previous paid work experience. She recently graduated from high school and had the opportunity to volunteer in several environments. She was able to inform ENSO staff of what worked for her, what kinds of supports she needed, and what kind of job she wanted. Aly asked that ENSO support her in finding a warehouse job where she could work evenings and independently. She was soon offered a job working with Amazon as a Warehouse Associate. Aly learned many things through her employment with Amazon such as how to schedule her rides with Paratransit, operating the hand-held devices used to scan packages in bins, the processes for sorting packages, setting up the warehouse to prepare for scanning and sorting, and what needs to be done to keep the warehouse running. ENSO observed Aly open up, express herself, and realize her goals for the future through her employment at Amazon.