Some of the success stories from Fayette Progressive Industries’ (FPI) employment programs are recent, but one individual has been working hard for over a decade.
Through utilization of the Employment First initiative (EFI), an effort that helps developmentally disabled adults to find work, and the Bridges to Transition program, which teaches them applicable skills to join the workforce, many have found success. Whether to help them cultivate physical skills, such as mopping, folding or sorting, to social skills, such as learning to connect to customers or networking opportunities, FPI has worked for years to help raise the standard of living for disabled residents.
Megan Mowery, a Fayette County resident, has been working at Fayette County Memorial Hospital (FCMH) for about 11 years. In this time she has learned many skills and developed relationships with many individuals at FCMH.
“I do housekeeping and environmental services,” Mowery said. “I stock supplies, sweep and mop the environmental service area at the hospital. I also assist Susan Morris, my boss, in any other duties that she might give me to do. I would really like to thank Susan and my parents for helping me and providing a lot of support. I also would like to thank Fayette County Memorial Hospital for giving me the opportunity for this job.”
Mowery began her journey through Clinton Memorial Hospital and Project SEARCH. This project is a “high school to work” program that allows an individual to be fully immersed in their field for a year to gain training that is necessary to perform many duties on the job. In between this and working at FCMH, she has done training with employees at FPI. This process began years ago and after developing important connections at FCMH she was hired on there to help keep the location clean and tidy.
“Megan is a very smart young lady and just like all housekeepers, she receives a list every day of her duties and she works her hardest to get everything done on the list,” Morris, director of materials management and environmental services with FCMH, said. “She is pretty quiet at work, but she is very funny and cares and shows concern for her co-workers when they are sick. It has been a really good environment for her here and it helps to teach her independence among other lessons. Fayette Progressive has also been great to work with, helping to put together a way to keep Megan busy and working while I attend to all of the other duties I have. Overall though it has made me to become a better manager and I am glad to work with Megan.”
Mowery is a big fan of music and listens to it wherever she goes with her portable player. She is a member of a church where she interprets music for deaf members using sign language and enjoys working and earning money. Mowery said she will continue to stay at FCMH in the future.
Mowery serves as an example of how well these residents can work and as an example to all with disabilities at FPI that one day they too will find a job that could be a life-long career. She gives others with disabilities advice; get out there and find a job where you like what you do and find something you want to do.
“We really want employers to realize these individuals all possess skills, determination and ethics that they are looking for,” Betty Reisinger, community service specialist at Fayette Progressive, said. “All they need is a bit of guidance and some practice, and they can make the best employees at any business.”
This story is the fifth in a series that showcases the success stories of individuals within the county with disabilities who have faced adversity and grown through the process to become more independent adults. For more information about the programs described here and other programs, contact Fayette Progressive Industries at (740) 335-7453.