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My name is Cate Bailey. I am the Program Manager at the Steamers Pre-Vocational Prep Kitchen. I sat down with Jessica, one of my employees here at the prep kitchen to talk about her job here and what her future looks like. She told me about her time working at Steamers and how she recently found a new job at AMC. Jessica just obtained a supported community employment job with AMC Theatres at Flat Irons!

Jessica is a 23 year old woman, who has been working in the Steamers Pre-Vocational Prep Kitchen since it opened in April, 2014. Steamers Pre-Vocational Prep Kitchen is a program that is designed to teach individuals who have developmental disabilities job skills, and prepare them for supported employment. The goal of what we do in the prep kitchen is for people to gain a wide variety of job skills and then to eventually move on to community based employment and use those learned skills. When Jessica started working at Steamers she had never had a job cooking or working with food, she had just cooked at home with her mom. Jessica told me she has liked and enjoyed her job here at Steamers Prep Kitchen. She told me her favorite part about her job has been her job coaches. She told me she likes them so much because they are nice and they are always there to help out.

Jessica had a job coach who took her to apply for the job at AMC. She filled out the job application by herself and turned it into the hiring manager at AMC. A few days after turning in her application, AMC contacted Jessica and her mother about setting up an interview. Jessica’s job coach helped her prepare for the interview, and then took her to the interview. To prepare for the interview, Jessica’s job coach helped her choose an outfit and they practiced answering possible interview questions. Jessica’s job coach sat in on the interview with her, but Jessica answered all the questions and participated in the interview independently. Jessica told me they asked her questions like what her availability for scheduling might look like, if she thought AMC might be a fun place to work, if she enjoyed movies, and if she liked talking to people. After her interview, AMC offered Jessica a job on the spot! Jessica told me her new job will be working at the food counter as a prep cook. Jessica will receive the supports and job coaching she needs through her training at AMC and will eventually be working independently and with less job coach support.

I asked Jessica how she was feeling about starting a new job and she said, “I’m excited to work!” She said she is not nervous for it at all…just excited! Jessica told me she would be sad to leave Steamers though. She told me she has made friends here, but is looking forward to making more new friends at her new job.

Jessica is one of our first employees to be leaving our program armed with new skills to be successful in a community based employment job! It is pretty exciting to see one of our employees make such a great accomplishment!  I, and the rest of the Steamers staff, will be sad to see her go…but we are all so proud of her success and are looking forward to hearing about her adventures in the future!