Many years ago, a janitorial program that cleaned all the preschools and all the buildings was in place, but due to many difficulties, it had to be dissolved. When looking at ways to have more impact in the lives of those we serve, Katie Raines, Executive Director, James Maginot, Assistant Executive Director, and Rhonda Jones, Director of Adult Day Services, revisited the program and decided to restructure it under the Adult Development Center. Rhonda met with her team and they determined it should be a full-blown job with intense training. Individuals in our Adult Day, Waiver and Clinical Programs that are interested in the program have to apply and the entire team must agree on the new trainees. Being accepted in the training program does not guarantee employment once the program is completed. The program is three-months long, beginning in a classroom before moving on to hands-on training. Once it is determined the individual can move forward with success, they move into the actual job. If, for whatever reason they are released from the program, it is always with the encouragement to try again. The classes are only opened if there are positions to offer. The Janitorial Program currently has 12 employed at the Marilyn Foster Complex and 7 employed at The Elvin & Sally Frick Bost Community Center and our Property Management Building. The success of the current program has been attributed to all the training that has been put in place before individuals begin working. While this program has been running for 3 years in the Fort Smith area, it has recently been implemented in our Dardanelle location as well! We are looking forward to the growth and success there.
Another avenue of employment offered to those served by Bost, Inc. is Supported Employment. We are proud of our near 100% success rate from those that are referred to Bost through Arkansas Rehab Services (ARS)! We have individuals working at Mercy, Cracker Barrel, Braums, Academy, and Home Depot, just to name a few. Individuals interested in supported employment apply at ARS. Then they are sent for an interview with a minimum of 3 service providers. The individuals are then free to choose who to continue with. These individuals are typically not served in any other capacity at Bost. Those that choose Bost have to agree to attend classes ranging from appropriate dress in the workplace, the application process, how to handle stressful situations, and other things relevant to competitive employment. Once they are ready, they begin the application process, with assistance as needed. A job coach will attend interviews as support only. The job coach will be on the job with the individual for as long as needed, but the ultimate goal is to have prepared the individual to be independent on the job. Supported Employment is currently offered through our Adult Development Services in the Fort Smith area, but Bost’s Northwest Arkansas Waiver does offer Supported Employment as well.
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