JFCS special needs employment program aids clients & businesses
Posted by JFCS ADVOCATE
By LARA BARRETT – JFCS communications director
In November 2013, JFCS held its Annual Vocational Program Celebratory Breakfast. The event is a morning of inspiration and empowerment, highlighting the JFCS Special Needs Supported Employment Program. Any person who has ever witnessed this celebration of the human spirit knows it is an overwhelmingly moving engagement— honoring the mission to help those with special needs realize their full potential through gainful employment. Jeffrey Gottlieb, executive vice president of ResinTech in West Berlin, was one of those attendees moved to action, as the Gottlieb family is committed to helping special needs causes.
In just a short time, ResinTech, manufacturers of a broad range of resins for water and wastewater treatment, welcomed JFCS supported employment client Tim Noakes as a full-time lab technician. Lab Manager Tom Smith supervises him, and says that from the start, the match between Noakes and ResinTech is one that would be difficult to duplicate.
“The original idea was to have him wash glassware in our lab. Within three days, it was clear that Tim’s attention to detail, knowledge, and laser-like focus would place him in a position with much more responsibility,” Smith said. “He was quick, bright, and shows up every day and works hard. If you tell him a sample needs to be checked at 2 p.m. on a Friday, he’s there on the dot, ready to do the work. He’s been such a positive addition, remarkably doing the same type of work of someone who has been here for 20 years.”
Noakes is responsible for carrying out crucial quality control measures on the resin batches, including compliance monitoring, such as making sure probes are calibrated and Ph levels are checked. “He has done a fabulous job with his duties—and you know it’s always done right,” said Smith.
Noakes worked with JFCS Senior Supported Employment Specialist Karen Alaimo, and received assistance polishing his resume and building interviewing skills to land his ideal job. “I studied at Burlington County College, and received my Associate’s Degree of Science, and Karen helped me look for a job in a lab,” he said. “I like it here because everyone is very friendly and Tom has helped me learn more in the lab.”
There are a few other reasons he feels at home at ResinTech, and personal growth is one of them. “I now know how to do a lot of procedures here, and its important work because I have to make sure there are no problems before we process anything,” said Noakes, the selfconfidence evident as he speaks. “I feel really proud of myself. I counted up…I did over 10,000 sample tests since I started here in February 2014.”
Noakes is quick to point out a key ingredient of what makes the JFCS Supported Employment Program so successful: The willingness of local companies to take a chance on someone with special needs, and give them the opportunity to be a productive member of the working world. “I want to tell people one of the important things about this program, which is the way JFCS networks with local companies for us to find jobs—the networking is so important,” he said. “Without it, it would be really hard to find a job.”
To make a positive difference in someone’s life by becoming an employer of an individual with special needs through the Supported Employment Program, call JFCS Special Needs Program Director Barbara Abrams at (856) 424-1333, ext. 1182.
About JFCS ADVOCATESamost JFCS is a non-profit social services agency located in Southern New Jersey. Our agency provides senior citizen support programs, special needs programs, food pantries, mobile food programs, Holocaust survivor support, mental health counseling, family assistance, domestic violence support, community outreach, and much more.
Posted on July 23, 2015, in Employment, JFCS, Non Profit, Social Services, Special Needs, Supported Employment, Young Adults and tagged Burlington County, Camden County, Cherry Hill, Cherry Hill Social Services, Jewish Family and Children's Service, Katz JCC, New Jersey, Southern New Jersey, special needs. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.