KYC’s Employment Services program works with qualifying individuals who are living with a mental health diagnosis or physical disability and are looking to find work for the first time, or to re-engage in the workplace following a period of time that kept them from working. Our team is made up of Employment Specialists who provide our clients with support in one-on-one job coaching, job development and placement, skills training, and career development services. The team works to creatively support the needs of clients while empowering each individual through growing their natural skill sets in the workplace.
Gary — Employment Specialist
Gary is one of the team of dedicated Employment Specialists at Kenneth Young Center working diligently to help clients find, obtain, and keep a fulfilling job. After retiring 10 years ago from a career in the Information Technology industry, he was looking to give back to his community and joined Kenneth Young Center as a volunteer, starting immediately in the Employment Services Department. “Although I had no prior training, during my tenure as a volunteer, I experienced great success in providing employment services. About 5 years ago, I was offered an official job with KYC. I never looked back,” said Gary.
Employment Specialists focus on assisting and coaching their clients through every aspect of their search for employment. From first creating and editing resumes and cover letters, to completing applications and skills tests, and finally assisting with interviews and post-employment check ins, Employment Specialists support their clients on every step of the journey. A key piece to this process is helping to overcome the barriers to employment that exist for so many job seekers.
Many clients must navigate gaps in their resume, transportation issues, or out-of-date skills that may have been caused by, or exaggerated by, a mental health challenge or physical disability. This is where Kenneth Young Center Specialists provide critical support and advice. The employment services team supports client choice in finding competitive employment, sometimes offering full assistance in setting up and accompanying them to interviews, helping arrange for workplace accommodations when necessary, and onsite job coaching if needed. For others, Employment Specialists work directly with the client and have minimal contact with the employer. Gary shares that occasionally some employers may not know that the applicant is even receiving support from Kenneth Young Center, and he sees this as a sign of success for the client and the program.
Gary prefers the term “Job Coach” because of the close positive connections he makes with his clients during, and after, their time with Kenneth Young Center. One of his favorite aspects of employment work is keeping in touch with former clients after a successful placement. Gary’s passion for changing lives is clear in the way he so eagerly shares the successes of the Employment Services team, “I am so proud to be helping our clients and our community. This job is the most important work that I have done in my life, I truly believe it is my calling. This has been one of the highlights of my life. I love KYC, I love the people I work with, and I love the clients I work for.”
New Partnership with Blend N Concepts and Arc-Tronics
Gary is a self-described “original nerd”, constantly building electronic devices at his home to keep busy during retirement. His love of technology has fueled an exciting new partnership with local businesses Blend N Concepts and Arc-Tronics. This year, while attending a job fair sponsored by Elk Grove Village, Gary made contact with Blend N Concepts, a staffing agency. He describes the relationship with Blend N Concepts and KYC as perfect teammates to find clients the right job, “I have never worked with such wonderful people.”
Due to the staffing shortages many companies are experiencing, the connection could not have come at a better time, and it has highlighted a wonderful opportunity for recruiters to partner with Kenneth Young Center. Companies appreciate the ability to work with KYC clients because they are supported with professional development and assistance, creating a smooth transition into a role that matches both the client’s skills and the needs of the company. Blend N Concepts has proven to be a fantastic partner to Kenneth Young Center’s Employment Services team, employing clients at their own company and also connecting them with opportunities at Arc-Tronics, an Elk Grove-based electronics manufacturer.
Arc-Tronics specializes in assembling and testing electronic circuit boards, and has built an inclusive and rewarding partnership with Kenneth Young Center by employing clients as part-time Assemblers and Inspectors. Gary credits the success of the placements to the supportive environment created by Arc-Tronics employees and management, and the flexible scheduling offered for clients. The Employment Services team continues to work with Blend N Concepts to match clients with positions at Arc-Tronics based on the client’s skill level and experience. After an initial group of 3 were hired and enjoyed success in their new roles, the partnership swelled to 11 total clients and is still growing today.
Gary commented that the expansion of this program has invigorated the entire Employment Services team. “Over the last couple weeks, I have witnessed some of the most profound positive changes I have ever seen in some of our clients… this opportunity has been an amazing blessing.”
If you would like more information about our Employment Services program, please click here or call our team at 847−524−8800 ext. 198.
Previous Article Next Article