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Jacob's Job Creation: Alaska

Alaska Customized Employment Grant


Jacob is a 21-year old man from Juneau, Alaska who works for World Wide Movers as a Warehouse Assistant. Jacob has become a productive and respected worker amongst his team and is learning more about himself as a worker and what he has to contribute to the employment world. Jacob's supervisor, Gil Aerni, manager of World Wide Movers, is very pleased with his performance and considers him a valuable contributor to the company's operations.

Through the Office of Disability Employment Policy funded project, the Juneau Job Center staff was able to visit Jacob at school, at his previous work site and during sporting events to observe him in action and to help Jacob identify his interests, goals, potential job tasks and major contributions to the workforce. With this information, his customized career plan was developed and used to create an employment opportunity.

Linni Esther, a job developer on the CEG team, identified a local employer, Mr. Aerni, who had indicated openness to creating a position for and hiring a worker with a disability. Linni set up an informational tour at World Wide Movers for Jacob, with the goal of helping him to expand his knowledge about various work environments. During the site visit, Linni discussed with the employer specific job tasks that were not being completed, duties that he was unnecessarily performing himself, and those for which he needed assistance. Mr. Aerni then proposed that Jacob help him to fulfill these unmet needs. Jacob was interested in the position: he immediately liked Mr. Aerni and he liked the idea of working on a team of young men in a warehouse environment. The job developer worked with the employer to negotiate the creation of a new position consisting of job tasks consistent with the interests and contributions in Jacob's customized career plan. Other aspects of the job were also negotiated and customized to meet the needs of both parties. For example, Jacob recognized that he functions best in the afternoon, so the hours were customized around his peak performance and energy levels.

Through the Job Center's CEG, various partners and agencies worked together to help Jacob achieve his employment goals. In addition to his Medicaid-funded job coach, a community rehabilitation provider conducted the job development, and individual benefits planning services were accessed so that Jacob could make informed decisions about work and the impact on his Social Security Disability benefits.

Now, Jacob earns $8.05/hour, working 4 hours per day for 5 days a week. As identified throughout the planning process, he enjoys doing hands-on work with the opportunity to be outdoors, getting positive feedback and working with a supportive team. His job coach has helped him to learn the duties of the job, develop a routine, and will assist him with learning new job tasks as they arise. This customized employment experience has helped both Jacob and his employer meet their employment needs.

For more information, contact:
Margie Thomson
CEG Project Assistant

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