Tag: MRC

A Positive Future: How Employment Has Made a Difference

This week we welcome our Guest Blogger, Shelande Laws, a client of The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and employee of a local laundry services company.

Finding the right job

My name is Shelande Laws. I found out about The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) from one of my counselors at the East Boston Counseling Center.
Two women reading a book

I called MRC and made an appointment for orientation. At the orientation, I was told what the MRC program is about. I got a caseworker whose name is Amelia Robbins-Cureau, and we had our first interview. Then I signed up to be a member of the One Stop Career Center. They have workshops to help you look for a job, work on your resume and find the right job for you.

Amelia and I worked together every three weeks on what I needed to accomplish a goal that would get me a job. I went on interviews, but they were not good jobs for me. I got to meet with a job specialist, Drew Ritter, at MRC who helped me look for work and go to job fairs. On my first interview with Drew, , someone came to our meeting looking for employees. I was interviewed for a job as a laundry attendant and I went on an On the Job Evaluation (OJE) for six weeks.

I am proud to say that I was hired in October 2012.

Interview with Shelande

Amelia: What do you like most about your job?

Shelande: I have been able to learn the job easily. Even when things were a little more difficult to learn, like the cash register, I have been able to learn it after a few times. The managers were so impressed with me that they asked me to do more than folding and washing. I also am enjoying having money to spend on things I need.

Amelia: What are you most proud of?

Shelande: I am proud of myself for being in good enough shape for this job. I did volunteer work at The Greater Boston Food Bank in order to get work experience and learn new skills. I am able to use those skills for a paid job.

Amelia: What advice would you give to other job seekers?

Shelande: Put your mind toward what you want to do and work toward it. Don’t give up whether you are trying to get through school, or a job. Even if a job doesn’t exactly match what you thought you would do, you might want to try it anyway. It will help you have money to spend, and be able to afford to live more independently. You will feel better about yourself, and see where you can get in the future.

Amelia: Any final thoughts?

Shelande: I want to give my deepest thanks to The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.Woman sitting in a chair

For additional information on resources for employment, be sure to check out New England INDEX’s Employment Resources Fact Sheet and Employment Support Services / Benefit Programs Fact Sheet .

Building Relationships: A Key to Employment Success

employment-supportYou may have heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” When it comes to getting good jobs, I believe in the power of relationships. I could never do my job alone; in fact, I had the help of others in finding my own job. My clients are no different – they will need others to help them find new opportunities and support them.

At the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC), we form relationships with the people we serve as well as the local community. We do this because we know that it takes a team in order to find a job. We also rely on job seekers to make their own connections through volunteer work, going to community events, joining social clubs and attending job seeking skills groups.

Experience builds confidence

One of the programs I am most excited about in my work at MRC is On-the Job Training (OJT). The OJT is great for people who have the skills and interest in a job, but do not have a lot of work experience. As a counselor, I have worked with consumers who have difficulty communicating their strengths and skills by simply filling out job applications. They may be told that they do not have enough job experience to get hired.

However, if you give the same person a chance to actually perform on the job, they shine. That is why MRC develops relationships with local businesses who want to participate in the OJT program.

A team approach that works

Here’s how it works: As a counselor, I work with the job seeker to prepare to get a certain type of job. We work on a resume, interview skills and the application process. Then, we work with the MRC team to find an employer who is looking to fill a position at their company. If the job seeker gets the job, and the new employer agrees to become a vendor of the Commonwealth, the On-the Job Training period begins.

MRC supports the job seeker and helps pay the company for the training period. At the end of the training period if everyone is satisfied, then the employee remains as a permanent employee.

At the end of the experience, it is a true team effort.

Many businesses have been so impressed with MRC job seekers that they call us when they need a good worker. As you can see, building relationships makes a huge difference in employment. Building relationships is important for anyone’s job search…and as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, I try to help my clients make positive and supportive connections to the world of work.