Today, Johnson County’s Community Supported Employment Program (CSEP) hosted a breakfast reception to recognize and thank 30 local businesses that are integral to the success of the programs offered by Johnson County Developmental Supports, the Mental Health Center and the Department of Correction and has provided tremendous support to the job seekers in these programs in a variety of ways.
Some business partners have consistently participated in job fairs and special events sponsored through each of these departments. Others have provided internships and work experiences. Many have offered full or part-time employment oppostunities. All of the efforts afforded by these community business partners enables CSEP to connect the right person to the right job.
Olga Deckman, state employee with Court Services and former Project SEARCH intern, credited Project SEARCH and the CSEP program with literally changing her life.
"When I first came to Project SEARCH I didn’t have much confidence that I would ever find a job, based on previous experience with prospective employers," Deckman said.
Deckman said that once they became aware of her unique physical challenges, they were no longer interested in hiring her.
"Project SEARCH has the same goals I did, to become independent and to be able to drive! I have built a work family that has not only helped me plan a solid and consistent career path, but they have paved a pathway of hope toward a bright future," she said.
"Being limited to taking public transportation was such a barrier," she shared, "that I couldn't keep a job. The transportation offered by Johnson County was a key to my success. Now that I am employed I was able to buy my own car!"
CSEP was formed to help share ideas and resources between the three county departments that help individuals in the community to find and maintain employment. The business partners have been instrumental in efforts to assist those individuals who face challenges and barriers to employment and help them succeed in life.