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Marla’s Hard Work and Skills Earn High Praise

Marla is recognized for outstanding workMarla says her job at the West Mifflin Goodwill store gives her a sense of purpose. She takes pride in her work and consistently meeting the goals set for her each day.

In fact, she was recently named Employee of the Month at her workplace.

Marla receives support from Citizen Care’s In-Home and Community Supports Services for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including support from job coaches who offer guidance at her competitive employment job with Goodwill. 

“Marla has built positive relationships with her coworkers and managers. She ‘lights up’ during her workday when a coworker or manager stops by to say hello and spends a few minutes talking with her about her weekend or upcoming events,” said Jennifer Zaken, Senior Habilitation Associate and Job Coach at Citizen Care.

Marla was part of Goodwill’s training program for several years – and in 2018 was offered a store position. She is responsible for sorting donations, evaluating the appropriateness and usefulness of each item, assessing quality, determining sale value and tagging. At the time, this job was a major transition for Marla.

She not only embraced the opportunity but has excelled. Store managers along with Marla’s family, have commented that her work performance and production vastly improved since she started working with Citizen Care job coaches in 2020.

Marla works four days a week – and each day is in charge of sorting, tagging and hanging 270 items. “Standout” and “Above & beyond” are terms frequently used to describe Marla.

While so many businesses are experiencing staffing shortages, Marla is known for never missing work. It’s that kind of work ethic that contributed to her being honored as Employee of the Month.

The support continues far beyond the end of Marla’s workday. Her job coaches and habilitation associates engage in activities with Marla that help build relationships. For example, they may go out for ice cream, which leads to higher levels of comfort and trust. Citizen Care staff know the importance of understanding the needs of each individual supported and adapting services accordingly. 

For more information on Citizen Care’s In-Home and Community Support Services, please call 412-446-0765.

“Marla benefits from competitive work because it keeps her motivated,” explained Zaken. “Marla comes in each day knowing what is expected of her and works very hard to stay organized and focused on her assigned tasks. Marla is always determined to do her best.”

Jennifer Zaken, Senior Habilitation Associate and Job Coach at Citizen Care

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