Despite the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, PRIDE’s Employment Services (ES) team has remained hard at work, and continues to place people with disabilities and other barriers to employment in long-term, gainful employment. Two recent ES clients, Heidy Crans and Lorena Murray, placed by Job Developer Caryl Balko, recently celebrated their one-year work anniversaries. They have received support from Job Coach Diana Crawford, who provides additional resources during any challenge, including a global pandemic!

Heidy Crans – Job Success Leads To a Home Purchase

Heidy just celebrated her first anniversary working at Smart & Final warehouse grocery store this December. In addition to reaching this important milestone, Heidy also earned a well-deserved promotion to cashier. With this professional success came a personal highlight – Heidy purchased a home, which she now shares with her boyfriend and two dogs.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Heidy stepped up as an essential worker. Taking the necessary protective precautions was challenging at times, but Heidy took her responsibilities seriously – properly wearing a mask and gloves throughout her shift, cleaning her cashier station, and making sure every cart, shelf, and restroom was thoroughly sanitized.

“There were times that I would admit were tough, especially hearing all of the news about the pandemic,” said Heidy. “However, I still showed up for work to serve what I love most about my job: our friendly customers!”

Heidy Crans
Heidy Crans purchased a home after receiving a promotion

Lorena Murray – Celebrating a Job Milestone

Lorena celebrated her first anniversary as a maintenance worker and housekeeper at Crunch Fitness in July 2020. She is responsible for cleaning all the exercise equipment, locker rooms, and floors. Lorena enjoys socializing with her coworkers, as well as the free gym membership!

When the pandemic hit, forcing gyms and exercise facilities to cut back or close, Lorena saw her work hours greatly reduced. But Lorena banded together with her team, and stayed in frequent contact with her manager until she could go back to work this September.

“Due to Lorena’s disability, doctors told us that she might not reach the same milestones as other children,” said Helen Murray, Lorena’s mother. “We didn’t accept that she was limited and made sure that she had the same opportunities as everyone else.”

PRIDE’s ES team is proud of Lorena’s progress and her excellent work ethic. She is currently saving up to move into her own apartment.

Interested in community work opportunities?

PRIDE’s job developers, coaches, and assessment specialists work closely with employees and employers to identify areas of need and carefully match qualified workers to appropriate job opportunities.
Lorena Murray celebrated her first anniversary as a maintenance worker and housekeeper at Crunch Fitness in July 2020.
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