BY PHILIP WOODWARD
In celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Department of Health and Human Services is highlighting five stories of personal accomplishment and success during the week of Oct. 21-25, 2013 that demonstrate how Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is making a difference in communities across North Carolina.
Meet Tanya Rivera
In November of 2011, Tanya Rivera visited the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services’ (VR) office in Asheboro, meeting with a mental health and substance abuse counselor.When she completed her evaluation, she received a recommendation to enter work adjustment training.
Part of Tanya’s evaluation was completing work duties, which included cleaning the break room and restrooms. Her job coach agreed that a housekeeping position would be an appropriate job match, and contacted Leach Janitorial. The company has supported VR since 2009 when it hired its first of many employees through VR.
Tanya interviewed and was hired. She started her new job in June 2012. Her work skills and her conscientious efforts to keep the break rooms and restrooms in sanitary condition received high marks from employees and staff. Tanya requested more work hours, and, in June of 2013, Leach Janitorial had a position open at a local hosiery factory for eight hours a day. The company offered the job to Tanya, and she gratefully accepted.
The company’s human resources director stated that they are thrilled to have Tanya working in their plant. Before Tanya, they received complaints from the employees that the plant wasn’t kept as clean or sanitary as needed. But since hiring Tanya, the company hasn’t received any complaints.