Jake works at the Law Firm of Solomon and Solomon P.C. a few days a week, assisting with data entry, scanning and copying. It’s a position that he enjoys and he wishes he could do more but his hours have decreased since the beginning of the pandemic. It’s not always easy to find the perfect employment to fit each job seeker, particularly one year into a global pandemic. While Jake is waiting for more permanent work to come his way, he is spending his time adapting the skills he already has and learning new ones. Our career counselors analyze work duties performed in a given job and identifies specific tasks that match an individual’s skill set to create a job opportunity. This is known as job carving.
With advocacy from his career counselor Kendra Cunningham, Jake began the year 2021 at Living Resources, making packages of personal protective equipment. He placed ten surgical masks and packages of towelettes and alcohol wipes in Ziploc bags. He also filled hand sanitizer bottles for our staff to use. Jake said he loved this job, but it was only a short term project.
Since Jake loves being a part of the Living Resources family and helping the agency in any capacity, Kendra continued to advocate on Jake’s behalf, networking within Living Resources and analyzing job tasks that match Jake’s skills and interests. Brittany Carmel in our Quality Assurance department had a data processing job which seemed right up Jake’s alley. Kendra discussed the project with Jake and through shared computer screens was able to show him exactly what needed to be done. Jake’s eyes lit up right away. He was very excited to take on the job, but there was only one concern. Due to COVID, our main office was limiting the amount of people in the office, so the project would have to be done remotely. This made Jake a bit more hesitant but Kendra assured him that she would find a creative way to support him without coming to the house.
The team got together to work some magic. Brittany scanned all the needed information to Kendra. Kendra printed everything out and brought it to Jake’s home with a Living Resources computer. Then, using Zoom technology and Google Docs, they worked together to create a process for completing the task. Jake was able to work at his own pace in his home, and Kendra could monitor his work without hovering over his shoulder. Jake said, “I felt really excellent about that. It’s challenging, but not too challenging. I know what to do and am really independent about it. It feels wonderful to know that if I need help, I can ask Kendra to help me.” Kendra added, “It really fostered a sense of independence for him and he really loves the work.” That is the beauty of job carving and our employment specialists are experts at it!