A Day in the Life of a PRIDE Industries Job Developer

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PRIDE Industries is proud to be the largest provider of employment services for individuals with disabilities in the state of California. What makes this success possible is our network of dedicated Job Developers and Job Coaches, who assess each client’s abilities, strengths and obstacles while identifying new employment placement opportunities.

Kimberly Jamerson is a Job Developer in PRIDE’s Placerville, California office. In this role, she connects individuals with disabilities to employers in the local community – annually placing approximately 12-15 individuals in employment. Below is a description of her role, told in her own words:

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“I joined PRIDE as an Independent Living Skills Coordinator and was later promoted to a Job Developer in 2010. Through time, I learned how to identify each individual’s capabilities and how to address their obstacles to employment.”

“Our consumers (clients) have various types of intellectual or developmental disabilities; many of them are looking for their first job. During the intake process, we learn about their interests, capabilities, and challenges. My role then is to prepare them for potential employment (Employment Preparation) while building their confidence and ensuring them that they will have support throughout the process.”

“Placerville, CA is located within El Dorado County, which is mainly rural. This location presents obstacles, especially since many of our consumers do not have access to a vehicle or cannot drive, and the bus system is limited. We work to identify solutions to transportation and any other barriers towards job attendance and performance prior to a consumer being placed in employment.”

“It might take several interviews over a long period of time, but I work hard to find each consumer a job. For example, I had an individual that struggled to measure time. We worked with him by purchasing a specialized watch and practicing clocking in/out. Practice made perfect, and he was soon hired as a courtesy clerk at a grocery store. He has worked there now for over two years!”

“Making that first connection with employers and business owners is often challenging; it is similar to conducting a sales pitch and requires multiple-follow ups. Many are skeptical about PRIDE’s mission and success rates. However, I’m passionate about my job and will do whatever I can to help educate employers about our programs and the abilities of our consumers.”

“Persistence does pay off, and it’s always worthwhile when I start a relationship between PRIDE and a new business partner. My strategy is to identify the best person to introduce myself to, explain how the unique abilities of our consumer(s) will meet their needs, and how PRIDE will support them along the way. The best part of my job is when I’m able to help both parties and create more opportunities for people with disabilities – especially when businesses start to contact me when they need new employees!”

“In summary, my job allows me to work with people from all walks of life, create a more diverse workforce, and to use my creativity to help change lives. There is nothing more rewarding than when an individual with a disability reaches their goal and earns the independence that comes with a job.”

We thank you, Kimberly, for your dedication towards placing individuals with disabilities into employment and making a positive impact.

Shriver’s Shared Vision

Eunice Kennedy Shriver passed away August 11, 2009. Inspired by her own sister’s story, Shriver was a leader in opening minds and opening doors for people with developmental disabilities at a time when intellectual disabilities were hidden and not discussed.

A statement issued by her family states that she “set out to change the world and to change us, and she did that and more.”  In July, 1968, Eunice Kennedy Shriver convened the first Special Olympics Games only a few weeks after her younger brother, Robert, was assassinated in Los Angeles. That day she spoke before a crowd outnumbered by athletes representing only 26 states and Canada. Today, Special Olympics athletes from 181 countries compete in games highlighted around the globe.

“The right to play on any playing field? You have earned it.
The right to study in any school? You have earned it.
The right to hold a job? You have earned it.
The right to be anyone’s neighbor? You have earned it.”

-Eunice Kennedy Shriver – 1987 Special Olympics World Games

Shriver was awarded the nation’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1984 in recognition of her work on behalf of those with developmental disabilities.  Hers was a  lifetime devoted to the service of others – a relentless and powerful advocate for the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.  Her legacy extends well beyond the  success of Special Olympics and the individual lives she touched.  Her passionate belief in the dignity and worth of every human life is our shared belief, and her struggle to highlight capabilities instead of disabilities is at the heart of our mission at PRIDE Industries.