On November 21, 2018, Steve Mateer, an individual in the Community Integrated Employment (CIE) Program at the Human Resources Center, Inc., surpassed his 90-day probationary period at the Twisted Rail, a restaurant and bar located in downtown Honesdale, PA. Before this position, Steve was unemployed for almost nine years.

Denise and Bob Ellis, owners of the Twisted Rail, had a tough position to fill. “It was important that we found the right person. The bar is open 7 days a week, requiring someone to be there before operating hours to make sure the bar is clean and presentable. With Steve, we never have to worry. We know the job gets done each day, exceeding our expectations. Steve is dedicated, conscientious, and dependable – he was exactly who we needed. And at any time, if we have questions or concerns, we can reach out to the staff at HRC and they step right in to assist.”

Chris VonAhnen, Director of Career Options & Development at HRC, believes that a disability does not inhibit an individual’s work ethic. “Many individuals who are referred to our program are conscientious of the quality of their work and care deeply about their position and performance. Steve’s story demonstrates how successful this kind of collaboration can be between a business and our CIE Program. We’re very proud of Steve and his continued success within his position.”

Steve wished to express his appreciation towards the owners and staff of the Twisted Rail. “The expertise that Bob Ellis demonstrated showed me how to be the best I could be. My job coaches from the Human Resources Center, Chris VonAhnen and Briana Lennon, were very helpful, teaching me how to get the job done right. All three were instrumental in my learning to meet the needs of the Twisted Rail and be successful in my role as custodian.”

Ellis wanted to add, “If you're looking for hardworking employees, place a call to HRC. Tell them your needs, find out more about their CIE Program, and see how they can help you.”

Historically, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have been either unemployed or underemployed despite their ability, desire, and willingness to work in the community. For many of us, a job is something that defines a part of who we are. It can give us a sense of identity and purpose, earning a living and striving towards independence. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2018 that only 18.7% of people with disabilities were employed. Programs like CIE at the Human Resources Center, Inc. help to combat that low percentage.

CIE Employment Specialists are there to support individuals with disabilities in their journey towards employment. They assist with the initial job search, prepare for the interview process, help learn job roles and expectations while developing a routine, and encouraging the development of support systems. Specialists act as liaisons, providing insightful feedback to both the individual and the business owner to ensure continued success and job satisfaction on both ends.

To find out more about the programs and services that the Human Resources Center, Inc. offers and how they help to support individuals with disabilities in our community, please visit www.hrcinc.org or call 570-253-3782.