Sunday, August 20, 2017

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Supported Employment Gives A New Level of Confidence

By Sabrina Lenkewicz - December 15, 2016 Disabilities Employment Rhode Island
John Gouveia has been working for Anytime Fitness for almost a year; for six hours per week at the Warwick location, and six hours per week at the Johnston location. At both locations, John is supported by Perspectives Corporation staff and works in housekeeping and maintenance. His job duties include vacuuming, wiping down machines, sweeping, and dusting. Recently John started cleaning the bathrooms as well, a more tedious task. Although, to some this may not seem the most appealing job, for John, it is something he is quite keen on doing. John lives in a group home with seven other individuals, where he enjoys doing the housecleaning therefore, his position at Anytime Fitness suits him and John is very familiar with his duties.

With the support of Perspectives Employment Services, John applied and was hired by Anytime Fitness in May of 2016. When John first started, he admits he was very nervous; now, John is eager and happy to go to work.

"John's job has given him a new level of confidence. He looks forward to going to work all the time and is always looking for feedback to make sure his job is well done," says Kenneth, John's staff.

Although, John accepts support during his shifts, his aim is to someday be able to work independently. Even if not possible at the moment, John continues to set this goal for himself, motivating him in his current employment all the more.

Confidence and goals of independence are not all his employment has awarded him. Outside of work John has enjoyed vacations, fishing trips and going out to eat to his favorite restaurants; two of which include the Texas Road House and Seven Moons. He has also been able to go to Red Sox's games; something he hopes to do again in the near future. Therefore it is very important to John that he continues to show up on time for his 10am to 1pm shift, which he must rely upon Perspectives' staff for. Mike Hoover, the manager of Anytime Fitness in Warwick, says that John is adamant about being on time, however if he is late, he's the type of employee who acknowledges his tardiness and will apologize.

"John is a pleasure to work with and his staff are always professional," says Mike, who has been supervising John for a little more than 7 months, He admits that in the past he has had students and people from support agencies work for him and it has not worked out for various reasons; however, John is a great fit. Overall, Mike's enthusiasm and candid responses when asked what kind of employee John is, say more about John's work ethic than he himself possibly could.
Since 1987, Perspectives Corporation has been working in partnership with businesses throughout Rhode Island to support integrated employment for people with intellectual, developmental and other disabilities.

For more information about Perspectives Employment Services, visit www.perspectivescorporation.com/employment-services

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