No matter where he is, Dylan’s smile lights up the room. And so, when he’s a work, his smile lights up an entire warehouse!
That’s because Dylan works at Brandito, a local supplier of corporate apparel and promotional marketing materials, where he is an e-commerce warehouse associate and helps to prepare orders to ship to clients.
Dylan started working at Brandito at the suggestion of Leonardo Castro, his employment specialist at SOAR365. Dylan first came to SOAR365’s Supported Employment program after finishing high school. The first step for Leo – as Dylan’s “job coach” – is to conduct a situational assessment with Dylan to get to know him and engage in simulated work activities. Situational assessments help Leo to understand each individual’s unique talents, challenges and preferences, and it also helps participants find their own inner motivations for employment.
What did Leo learn? That Dylan likes detailed work, is organized, meticulous, motivated and is very positive.
At this time, SOAR365 had a burgeoning relationship with Brandito and Leo immediately thought that might be the right fit for Dylan. He talked about it with Dylan, who agreed, and so Leo walked Dylan through the process of reaching out to a workplace to inquire about a job. After a job shadow and an interview, Brandito hired Dylan!
“When Dylan first started working at Brandito, I was there every day to help as needed,” says Leo. “But the goal of supported employment is to fade away, and so as Dylan masters his tasks, I’m here less and less … which is awesome,” adds Leo.
Dylan’s success at Brandito is bolstered by the unwavering support of everyone there. Dylan doesn’t speak a lot, so reading his body language is key for the other staff, something Leo taught them. Dylan pays close attention to directions and is continuing to work on communicating with his fellow co-workers.
“Dylan loves working at Brandito, and Brandito values him as an employee,” says Leo. “That is the ideal situation.”
Learn more about Leo and his role as a job coach.
To find out more about the work SOAR365 Employment Specialists do or see how participants in our Supported Employment program partner with business around Richmond, visit the Supported Employment section of our website.