Building a Successful Career

HinojosaJulio_blog

“Working at PRIDE has helped me accomplish my goals and brought me professional success.”

Julio Hinojosa is a young adult with a borderline intellectual disability that has earned a successful career with PRIDE Industries. Approximately 6.5 million people in the United States have an intellectual disability, which occurs when a person experiences limitation in cognitive functioning and problem-solving. These individuals have a harder time finding employment options and participate in the labor force at about half the rate of typically developing adults. However, given the right environment and support, people with intellectual disabilities can fulfill needed career positions and make excellent employees.

Julio graduated from a high school transition program that assisted students with disabilities to help find employment and learn independent life skills. As part of the program, he completed vocational training in electrical work, expressing interest in working in a technical field. With this preference, Julio was referred by the Department of Rehabilitative Services in 2011 to PRIDE Industries’ Fort Bliss, TX facilities and maintenance contract – starting his career working as a Grounds Maintenance Laborer in the Roads and Grounds department.

Adjusting to a new trade was not always easy. Due to his disability, Julio struggled with problem-solving on the job and had difficulty using the correct writing to explain the work he performed on service orders. With help from his supervisor, coworkers and job coach, he learned how to write down his orders with accuracy and worked on maintaining concentration to finish assigned tasks on time.

“Julio is very shy,” says Rehabilitation Manager Shannon Bloxham. “He required a lot of guidance, but has learned by observation and hands-on training – improving his confidence and skills.”

Within this supportive environment, Julio continued to advance in his career. He was promoted to Maintenance Trades Helper in the Electrical department in 2014 and later to General Maintenance Worker in 2016. Furthering his expertise, he entered the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) Apprenticeship program and is now a year shy of finishing the four-year program. With guidance and mentorship from his coworkers, Julio passed his State Journeyman Electrician’s exam in 2017 and was promoted to Electrician.

Working for PRIDE not only brought career success but also carried over in Julio’s personal life. He recently got married and purchased his first home. “I enjoy the hands-on-work of electrical work and perfecting my craft while working in the welcoming environment at PRIDE,” says Julio. “Julio is a very hard-working employee and has shown dedication and ambition to get to where he is today,” says Shannon Bloxham.

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month 2016

DD Awareness Mth

For 50 years, PRIDE Industries has created opportunities for those often excluded from the labor force – people with disabilities. Instead of disability – we see unique abilities, and we celebrate accomplishments every day.

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Throughout the month, we celebrate the successes of individuals with developmental disabilities – our neighbors, friends, family members and coworkers.

Through employment people with disabilities gain a sense of purpose, dignity, inclusion, and lead more self-sufficient lives. Our programs are customized to provide assessments, career planning, training, placement, on-the-job support, follow-up and case management. We not only employ and support people with developmental disabilities at PRIDE, but have placed more than 500 individuals with disabilities in community employment. Many have been successfully employed with the same local employer for years. To learn more about our services, click here.

We can all play a role in helping individuals with developmental, and other disabilities go to work. How can you help? Consider ways in which opportunities can be created in your business or organization. Not sure how? Contact us. We’d be happy to help! Send an email to: info@prideindustries.com.

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

DDAM

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, a time set aside to bring awareness to developmental disabilities and celebrate the accomplishments of impacted individuals. You may read about highlighted celebrities with developmental disabilities and their achievements.  At PRIDE Industries, we celebrate the successes of individuals with developmental disabilities every day.

Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions due to impairment in physical, learning, language or behavior areas.  According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately one in six children in the U.S. has one or more developmental disabilities or other developmental delays. Developmental disabilities include autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, epilepsy, fragile-X syndrome, and intellectual disabilities.

Forty-nine years ago, a group of parents seeking greater opportunities for their adult children with developmental disabilities founded PRIDE Industries.  Today, PRIDE is a nationally recognized nonprofit social enterprise with an unchanged mission: creating jobs for people with disabilities.

Approximately half of the individuals that PRIDE Industries employs and serves have developmental disabilities. People like Cameron, Mitchell, Donald, Jonathan, Margaret and Joseph, who have the opportunity to work, learn, grow and contribute to their communities. They are not famous, but they are inspiring. We hope you will spend a few minutes reading their stories and consider ways in which you can create opportunities for individuals like them in your business or organization.