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Developing a Job for Joey: Maryland

Maryland Customized Employment Project

From Workforce Development, Quarterly Publication of the Maryland Customized Employment Partnership, Issue 1, Volume 1

Joey is a 21 year old recent student from Montgomery County Public Schools. Joey was referred to MCEP as he was getting ready to exit his special education transition program. Before exiting high school, Joey was approved for long-term job search and support funding from the Developmental Disabilities Administration, but at the time of graduation the funding was not yet available. Therefore, he was unable to receive immediate services from the adult developmental disabilities service provider.

An MCEP career specialist worked with Joey, his family, the school, and the employment service provider to determine Joey's interests and potential contributions to a work environment. Joey indicated that he was most interested in stocking and receiving, where he might have some level of independent responsibility. It was most important for him to keep busy and have a structure to his activities. He was NOT interested in washing dishes, sitting in one place, or working with individuals his own age.

The career specialist met with a variety of businesses near Joey's home. After meeting with a local retail clothing store (and listening carefully to their needs), the MCEP career specialist presented Joey's skills and interests while explaining the concept of customized employment. The general manager of the store loved the idea and said that she wanted to create a position where Joey was able to contribute his skills as a "markdown attendant." Joey moves from section to section within the store scanning items on display. If the item is ready for markdown, a ticket will print, and Joey places this sticker on the scanned ticket. If nothing prints, Joey moves to the next item. According to the employer, this task was always a "fill-in" responsibility by other staff whose main job is to attend to customer needs. This job creation will allow other staff to be more customer-service oriented; and Joey will be fulfilling a steady and essential business need.

Joey works 25 hours per week, earns $7.00 per hour and takes public transportation to and from work. By the time this position was negotiated and secured, the employment service provider received the funding needed to provide follow-up support to Joey. As a result of pooled resources of the school system, One Stop Career Center, a disability employment service provider, and the Developmental Disabilities Administration, Joey is now enjoying a job customized to his individual circumstances.

For more information about this case study or the Maryland Customized Employment Partnership, please contact:
Lisa Cuozzo
(240) 283-1576 (voice)
lcuozzo@montgomeryworks.com

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