People who say “It’s not nice to brag” must not have the kind of outcomes that Necco Center’s Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) has. This team was tasked with matching difficult to place individuals with community employers. Twenty-two individuals to be exact. But, the CRP staff never referred to these individuals as “difficult to place”. Instead, Necco Center wanted to know which lucky businesses would be the first to hire these talented individuals.
Necco Center Job Coach, Tammy Stevens takes a very strengths-based approach in her role with the program. “We never focus on inability. We only focus on strengths. Individuals are more healthy than ill. We ask-What value can this person bring to this business?’’ And this approach seems to be working. Of the twenty-two individuals referred to Necco Center, CRP was able to place twenty-one of them in community jobs.
The program works directly with businesses like Lowe’s Home Improvement, Bob Evans Restaurant, Symmes Valley High School, and Frisch’s Big Boy Restaurant. In less than one year, the CRP team has grown to work with 15 community businesses. Three of which are the same restaurant chain.
Charlie Evans, Assistant Manager of Frisch’s Restaurant in Ironton, Ohio, spoke highly of the two individuals placed through the CRP program. “When they first began to talk about the program, we were hesitant. But these employees have proven that they are an asset.” Evans shared that it did not take long before the employees were mastering their job skills and forming relationships with co-workers and customers. “Just to watch them learn and grow in their positions. I think they have even done a lot for the moral of everyone that is here. I am glad we took that step. I think more companies should look outside the box when hiring”.
Tammy Stevens shared that these individuals have a burning desire to be in the workplace. “When their co-workers are complaining that they have to work over, our individuals are smiling because they are working”. And there is no shortage of smiles in this program. It’s quite possible that there is none better than Buddy’s. Referred to the CRP program because he wanted desperately to work, Buddy could only find a job bagging groceries for tips. One evening, Tammy Stevens just couldn’t get Buddy off her mind. He was capable of so much more. She was meeting with a friend, Debra Stamper, whose son, Jimmy owns Stamper’s Barber Shop. She decided to tell her about Buddy and ask if the shop could use someone with his skills. No level of convincing was needed. The owner agreed to hire Buddy on the spot! Debra Stamper was thrilled to share the good news of their new hire on social media, “We love him! He is awesome!”
Tammy feels that the role of Job Coach is her true calling. Having the opportunity to find someone his or her dream job gives her an overwhelming sense of purpose. “Many of these individuals are now part of the world that they have spent their whole life just looking at from the outside”.
If you haven’t met the folks with Necco Center’s Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) yet, you should. They have developed quite a reputation for enriching the lives of individuals through gainful employment. Just ask the 21 folks who are now working, have new friendships, and are more active in their community than they have ever been before. Now, that’s something to brag about.