How do you know that you’ve made a lasting impression on someone? Well, when a person takes the time to bring you lunch at your new place of employment, it’s a pretty good sign. And that’s what happened to a group of individuals supported by Citizen Care.
Citizen Care has contracts with local businesses that provide employment opportunities for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Local hotels are a common participant, with supported individuals working in banquet and housekeeping services.
Citizen Care’s contract with TownePlace Suites, an extended-stay property near the Pittsburgh Airport, recently completed a two-year run. That meant the crew of Carla, Sarah and Dave, along with job coach Kim Weaver, moved onto work in a new location. But they didn’t leave before getting a huge sendoff.
“The hotel general manager gave a speech, there was a big cake, employees signed cards – and they were all in tears,” said Stephanie DiBiagio, Transitional Services Coordinator at Citizen Care. “Sarah and Carla were given charm bracelets, and Dave received a key chain, all with the inscription ‘An amazing coworker is hard to find, difficult to part with and impossible to forget.’”
The crew now works at the Courtyard by Marriott in Moon Township. One of the guests from TownePlace missed these workers so much that she visited them on their break at their new job, bringing them lunch. “I thought that was incredible. They were so happy,” said DiBiagio.
Meaningful jobs in the workforce don’t only teach important skills, they contribute to social growth.
“The individuals we serve contribute to the betterment of the community and establish healthy relationships with others,” explained DiBiagio.