Oct. 14th: The Power of Inclusive Hiring – Adrienne

October is here, and once again we are celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month (#NDEAM). Reflecting a commitment to a robust and competitive American labor force, the 2019 National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) theme is “The Right Talent, Right Now.” Observed each October, NDEAM celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.T

Please help us in highlighting the accomplishments of all people with disabilities who are employed or have their own business by submitting success stories.  We had a great response last year, and are now in search of more great stories as well as updates!

Success stories can be submitted through the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/666Z55P.

October 14, 2019: Update… The Power of Inclusive Hiring – Adrienne

Adrienne participated in Project SEARCH at Drexel University during her last year of high school, where she honed her clerical skills and discovered that she thrived in an office environment. As part of an inclusive hiring initiative by Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), Adrienne was hired to work in the City of Philadelphia Department of Aviation’s Human Resources department, which aligned perfectly with her skills and preferences. The City of Philadelphia has well-established hiring practices, including a requirement that all job candidates first pass the Civil Service exam. To create a more comfortable entry for non-traditional learners, PHL hired Adrienne as a Departmental Aide. After working for one full year in that position, she satisfied Civil Service equivalency and became a permanent City of Philadelphia employee in September 2018 and earned status as a dues-paying union member.

Adrienne now enjoys a living wage, scheduled pay increases, a generous benefits package, pension program, and the security and satisfaction that comes with sustainable employment. This is a phenomenal job for any young person entering the workforce; as someone who faces challenges associated with disability, this is a life-changing opportunity for Adrienne and her family.

Picture of Adrienne holding an award in her hand
Adrienne displays an award she earned

Adrienne began earning full-time wages immediately upon exiting high school. Under the expert guidance of CIS Benefits Counselors, she has completely eliminated her reliance on SSA cash benefits and continues to work towards financial self-sufficiency. By working full time, Adrienne’s income will be far greater than if she continued to receive her SSA check, and the difference is astonishing when her benefits counselor examined her earning potential over the course of her career.

As she celebrates her second anniversary with PHL, Adrienne continues to excel at her tasks, which include data entry, filing personnel documents, answering phones, transcribing voicemail messages, and office supply inventory. Over the summer, she took on the new responsibility of daily quality checks of Department of Aviation offices, ensuring that rooms are fully stocked and orderly so that operations run smoothly across the department. After receiving an exemplary annual performance review, her supervisors expressed that they are excited to watch Adrienne continue to gain independence and progress in her career.

~ submitted by CIS