A Community Employment Success Story.
Kechone Jenkins was referred to Eggleston from DARS to assist with obtaining employment in the community. He stressed he would like to work in food service as he already had several years of experience in that industry and liked the work. His Employment Specialist reached out to the manager at Sage Dining in regards to a part time position and set up an interview for Kechone. During the interview, Kechone stole the show. Before the interview began he provided all of his qualifications (hard working, dedicated, friendly, works well with others, great at multi-tasking, and is able to work in a stressful and fast-paced setting). He went into detail, stating that he works the dinner shift and is called in quite often for the lunch shift when others call out. Kechone stated “I’m no stranger to the kitchen. I’m not the best cook, but if hired I will make sure that the kitchen remains clean.” He was hired on the spot as a full time employee at Norfolk Collegiate’s lower level.
Kechone’s Employment Specialist provided him with placement and training supports he needed to get him stable and continues to offer follow along services. Five and a half years later, Kechone remains a valuable employee with Sage Dining Service at Norfolk Collegiate’s Lower Level.
During the pandemic, the tasks and protocols were modified and adjusted to ensure students and staff safety. Kechone adjusts well to change and did not miss any time from work during the pandemic except for when all the schools were closed. When Kechone returned to work, there were new protocols and safety guidelines and how the students received their meals was changed to bag lunches. Kechone assisted with preparing the bag lunches as well as delivering the lunches to the classrooms. Kechone is very social and was saddened by the lack of social interaction with students and teachers. The students and staff felt the same way and sent weekly thank you letters to the kitchen staff thanking them for their hard work. The letters were posted all over the cafeteria walls.
Kechone has worked during the entire pandemic while keeping his health and safety at the forefront. Kechone stated “If there is a will, there is a way.”