Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities sent this bulletin at 05/22/2020 10:24 AM EDT

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.ood headerPhoto of a young man in Kroger apron

Patrick Powell is preparing to leave home for his shift at Kroger. Patrick Powell of Centerville is a people-person. He is known for being friendly and agreeable. Patrick first connected with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) in 2017 while still a student in high school. Services helped him land his first job. In recent months, Patrick needed assistance again to find a job that better matched his strengths and abilities. 

Eric Bostick Jr. is Patrick’s OOD Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. He explained, “Patrick knew he wanted a part-time job and had experience in retail, which he loved.” 

Kroger hired Patrick, and he began his new job on March 3. Having a developmental disability, Patrick benefitted from support from Michelle Sears, Job Developer with United Rehabilitation Services. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Michelle checks in with Patrick by phone. They discuss his work, which includes managing carts, cleaning, and assisting customers who need help getting groceries to their cars. 

Angela Powell is Patrick’s mother. She said, “He has had jobs off and on since he completed transition, but now he is excited to go to work.”  Angela explained that she has already seen growth in Patrick. “I tell him, you’re on the frontline!”“He is dedicated to making improvements, respectful, and always trying to do the right thing,” Eric said. 

Patrick is already focused on advancement. He said, “I try my best. I miss my friends, but having a job helps.” He plans to save his paycheck to make a down payment for an apartment of his own and to eventually take a vacation. 

Once Patrick is stable in his position and services from OOD conclude, Patrick will receive long-term, ongoing support from the Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities for as long as needed. This collaboration is one of the key parts of the Employment First Partnership, which helps adults with developmental disabilities start careers. Career counselors assist Ohioans with developmental disabilities through career exploration, training, and skill development as they work toward employment. 

If you have a disability and would like to work, visit OODWorks.com