Kristen Cibula is a friendly and outgoing 20 year old from Beaverton who enjoys riding horses, working out at the local gym while watching “Let’s Make A Deal” and sharing movies with her friends. Like many young adults she wanted to find her first job out of High School so she could become more independent and perhaps someday have a place of her own. However unlike most, Kristen has a developmental disability making her goal a bit more challenging than just submitting an on-line application as many employers want today.
Through the Beaverton School District, Kristen participated in the Community Transition Program and was introduced by The State of Oregon, Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to Dirkse Counseling and Consulting, Inc. to help her reach her career goals. Together they determined her cheerful personality and ability to learn and follow directions would be an asset in the customer service industry. In September of 2016, the Dirkse CC team found the perfect spot at a local favorite; La Provence Boulangerie and Patisserie at Progress Ridge Town Square.
La Provence has obtained such popularity in the area due to its excellent service and exceptional breakfasts, lunches and dinners that feature pastries, desserts and breads they make fresh each day. At any given time, tables are packed and orders are flying with servers and crew running almost literally to fill their customer’s orders quickly and efficiently. The restaurant is managed by General Manager Sarah Hanks who was open to giving Kristen an opportunity to be a part of her team. Over the past 6.5 months Kristen has learned her tasks of preparing silverware and setting and bussing tables with the support from Job Coaches at Dirkse CC. Ms. Hanks shared; “The entire staff enjoys working with Kristen, it’s a pleasure to see everyone coming together.” Kristen is always eager to learn new tasks and is frequently heard telling customers “have a nice day” and “thank you, come again” as they happily leave the restaurant with full bellies and a smile.
Carl Jones is a 21-year-old with an intellectual disability who recently graduated from the Lake Oswego School District Transition Program. Everyday Carl is scheduled to work he rides his bike from his home in Lake Oswego to the bus stop, takes the bus to Beaverton and starts his job. He is motivated and happy to work, despite the hour long commute. Like many other young men, he enjoys the outdoors and hunting, is an Eagle Scout through the Boy Scouts of America, and has longed dreamed about his first job.
Because finding employment can be challenging for people with disabilities, Carl was referred by the State of Oregon, Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to Dirkse Counseling and Consulting, Inc. for job placement services. Glenn Bishop, Senior Employment Specialist took his interests, skills and abilities into consideration as part of the job search process. Mr. Bishop contacted Leupold and Stevens, a fifth generation family-owned company that designs, machines, and assembles binoculars, rangefinders, spotting scopes, riflescopes and mounting systems at their facility located at 14400 NW Greenbrier Parkway in Beaverton. Mr. Bishop was given a tour of their facility and worked closely with Human Resources and Management to make suggestions about incorporating Carl’s skills into their workforce.
Leupold and Stevens is a local company with a diversity and inclusion initiative that includes hiring individuals with disabilities to contribute to their team. Because of the attention to detail that Carl displayed in his working interview, he was hired to do a job requiring that skill - scanning micro fiche into the computer - and was later given further responsibilities of carefully folding and storing important blueprint documents. Carl recently shared with Mr. Bishop “I like this job and I am looking forward to working here a long time.” The team at Leupold and Stevens sees the potential for fulfilling a business need that also fits in with their diversity plan creating a "win-win" for everyone.
Kevin Moran is a hard-working, determined man from Beaverton; so determined that he did not let his disability stop him from his goal of obtaining his fork lift certification and obtaining a job where he could advance and grow. Kevin was hired at The Home Depot on Beaverton Hillsdale Highway as a Temporary Team Member but after only a few months was promoted to permanent status as a Garden Loader due to his hard work, reliability and friendly demeanor. “Kevin is a phenomenal Associate” said General Manager, Kaileb Hahmeyer, “I wish I had 20 more like him. He is happy and dependable; he is part of the Home Depot family.”
To assist with his job search Kevin worked with Dirkse Counseling and Consulting, Inc. Employment Specialist Chris Perry. Chris helped connect Kevin to the opportunity at the Home Depot and now checks in with him on a regular basis to provide support or job coaching if needed. Dirkse CC is a local agency contracted with The State of Oregon, Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to assist individuals with disabilities with their employment goals. They seek out partnerships with employers in the community such as The Home Depot, who are diverse and inclusive and who can appreciate the skills and abilities of the individual. Their goal is to help insure a good match between the job seeker and the employer and that there is long-term success and support for both.
Thanks to the partnership between The State of Oregon, Dirkse CC and employers like The Home Depot, Kevin reports that he is now in his “favorite job”. On your next trip to pick up plants, hardware or holiday decorations, you may find Kevin hard at work, with a willing attitude and smile on his face, helping customers or fellow teammates.
As an avid sports fan, 21 year old Josh Maclay’s goal was working around one of his favorite local teams, The Portland Trailblazers. Josh did not let his intellectual disability deter him from pursuing his dream job. After graduating from Westview High School with a modified diploma in 2014, he entered and graduated from the Beaverton Community Transition Program (BCTP) in 2016. BCTP helps young adults with disabilities increase their ability to live independently and gain valuable work experience. BCTP, The State of Oregon, Vocational Rehabilitation and Dirkse Counseling and Consulting, Inc. all played a part in Josh obtaining his dream job with Levy Restaurants in January 2016.
Levy Restaurants provide quality food and beverages to patrons of events at The Moda Center and other similar venues worldwide. They promote an atmosphere of inclusion and diversity and are dedicated to assisting team members in reaching their potential.
Josh began his career at Levy by washing dishes, collecting garbage, and stocking condiments. Because of his hard work and motivation he requested and was recently promoted to work this season as a Warehouse Runner, doing inventory and food delivery to stands during Blazer games. It is a fast-paced position that Josh welcomes since he is a very hard worker who likes to stay active and busy at all times. One of his Supervisors, Matt Hendryx shared “The experience working with Josh has been exceptional. He shows up on time, communicates well, does an incredible job and is so reliable.” Matt also shared that the experience working with Dirkse CC has been a good one with great communication from the team. “Josh is the priority with the focus on keeping him developing and growing. “ This is the goal of Dirkse CC; to match the client’s skills, abilities, goals and dreams to the employer’s needs, creating a “win-win” scenario for everyone. Go Blazers!