Pam’s Success in Group Supported Employment

Meet Pam, a Group Supported Employment client who works at Centennial Hall at the University of Minnesota. Pam has worked at the U for over two years now! Typically she spends her day cleaning tables, helping in the dish room and stocking supplies. Pam loves her job at Centennial because she gets to keep busy and be around the students. Being a part of a Group Supported Employment team has been a great experience for Pam and has helped her grow in many ways both in her personal and professional life.

Group Supported Employment at Opportunity Services is a great way to prepare clients for the next step: independent employment. Pam and the other 7 clients on the University of Minnesota Group Supported Employment team work at various dining halls throughout the University of Minnesota Campus. While they work independently, they are still supported by an on-site job coach who floats across all the sites to assist with any issues or questions throughout each day. Melissa Hodge is the Opportunity Services job coach who supports the Group Supported Employment team at the University of Minnesota “I truly enjoy working with these clients and helping them to achieve their next goal of independent employment.” Many of the clients provide their own transportation to the job sites, including Pam who takes a variety of types of transport each day: a car, the bus and light rail. Pam has even taught other clients how to use public transportation to get to and from work!

Elizabeth Hoosline, Opportunity Services Regional Manager, has also seen a change in Pam. “Pam is now able to de-escalate herself or talk herself through difficult situations, where in the past she would’ve just given up. She seems to have more self-confidence and is more successful than she’s ever been now that she’s working with this Group SE Team.” A lot of things have changed for the better now that Pam is successful on-the-job! Pam was recently able to purchase her own car. While she still utilizes public transportation for work, she’s no longer dependent on other people and can go out into the community as she pleases. Pam is also waiting for her results from a Vocational Rehabilitation Assessment to see when she can move into Supported Employment with her own real independent job!

“I love my job at Centennial Hall and enjoy going to work. I’m proud of overcoming my back issues and sticking with this job. I love my job coach and my co-workers here!” says Pam. Pam is looking forward to working at the Blaine Parks and Recreation for the summer while the University of Minnesota is on break. She is also eagerly awaiting her Assessment results and whether she will be at her own job this fall or back at the U of M! Either way, all of us here at Opportunity Services know Pam is on the road to success.