The final individual being highlighted in the Record-Herald’s “success series” has been working in the same field for nearly 10 years with help from Fayette Progressive Industries (FPI) and job coaches.
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.
Stephanie Jinks, employee at St. Catherine’s Manor in Washington Court House, is not shy of a little work. Having been at various facilities around town similar to St. Catherine’s, including working at Carriage Court for seven years, Jinks has been working hard in the nursing home field for nearly 10 years.
“Mainly I do housecleaning and one day during the week I also do laundry,” Jinks said. “Before I came to Fayette Progressive I had job coaches that helped to teach me some skills. After I went to St. Catherine’s, those job coaches couldn’t help me anymore and that is when I came here [FPI]. I really like my job.”
Using her paychecks, Jinks only attempts to buy what she needs and tries to save the rest. She expressed gratitude to Betty Reisinger and others at FPI for helping her, as well as her family for being so supportive.
“Stephanie always has a smile on her face and always comes to work,” Sue Thomas, administrator at St. Catherine’s Manor, said. “Stephanie does housekeeping and laundry which has really been a big help. She gets along well with the rest of the staff and does a good job for us.”
Jinks offers advice to others with disabilities in the form of what she tells herself, to always do her best. She says to just get in there, work as hard as you can and do what you can do. In the future, Jinks plans to stay at St. Catherine’s unless something else comes along.
“We really want employers to realize these individuals all possess skills, determination and ethics that they are looking for,” 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 final 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.