November 10, 2022
by: Emily Hastings
Shira started working with UCP’s OakLeaf Partners in late 2020 to learn job- seeking skills and ultimately apply for, obtain and retain employment. While her previous jobs involved cleaning, she desired to work in an office environment. OakLeaf Job Placement Coordinator, Greg Zaryk, helped her build interview skills, and in December 2020 she participated in a mock interview with emeritus UCP Board Member, Ron Barber.
The mock interview went so well that Ron expressed interest in hiring Shira at his consulting firm when there were less pandemic-related restrictions. After a call from Greg in Spring 2021, Shira started working three days per week as an Office Associate at RG Barber Consultants, CPA’s where she assists with administrative duties including scanning and filing. She also provides light office cleaning such as vacuuming and dusting.
This is a great example of customized employment, a process for achieving competitive integrated employment through a relationship between employee and employer that is personalized to meet the needs of both parties. Her position incorporates Shira’s previous experience in providing cleaning services after her administrative duties are complete. She quickly increased her hours and now works four days per week and recently received praise from a client of the firm who, after visiting the office, said “Shira is a breath of fresh air.”