By Robert Parkinson, Career Services Program Manager, Search, Inc.
Sometimes it is just plain nice to look back over a year and see good things. The end of this past fiscal year (FY22) is one of those times!
With a recent past of challenges and uncertainty, it is a pleasure to share the news that truly sparkles and showcases outstanding achievements.
The unwavering commitment of the CES team along with the incredible partnerships and support of exceptional community employers led to 18 brand new job placements over the past year, which is a Search Inc. performance best. For those who chose to continue working, there was an unparalleled job retention rate of 100% for pre-pandemic placements!
Expectations were exceeded on Performance-Based Contracts with the Illinois Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) leading to expanded capacity allotments from the State for FY23. These additional funds will enhance CES’ outreach to the communities we serve and lead to even greater outcomes for our future job seekers.
CES expanded its collaboration with other Search Inc. social enterprises as well as several high school districts, establishing new DRS-certified integrated work sites and providing valuable work experiences for students in school-to-work transition programs.
In response to these unprecedented outcomes, and Search’s commitment to invest in the CES department’s future of assisting people seeking meaningful employment in the community, the decision was made to expand the Career Services Department’s staff. This allowed us to add a much-needed employment specialist to the team.
What a great year it has been – more ups than downs, more smiles than frowns – Search’s Career Services Department stands stronger than ever, ready to serve – and this is only the beginning!
Robert Parkinson is SEARCH Inc.’s Career Services Manager – He has worked in the I/DD service field for over thirty years. He is a musician, avid motorcyclist, dog/animal lover, and a spirited supporter of our Armed Forces Veterans.