Since 1984, KenCrest has worked in Pennsylvania communities to build employer partnerships, identify existing paid employment opportunities, and create new, customized paid positions for individual with disabilities.
KenCrest matches job candidates with their careers based on their skills and preferences for employment. Our employment goals focus on providing each individual with the type of employment they want and will enjoy. Our trained and certified staff’s objective is to assist individuals in finding careers they love and supporting their success.
Supported Employment is a service option that empowers individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism to achieve paid work in their community. The supported employment program at KenCrest encompasses traditional job support methodologies as well as customized employment and school-to-career supports for youth. Find out more about our supported and customized employment services.
Ticket to Work is a program of the Social Security Administration that supports career development for people with disabilities who want to work. Social Security disability beneficiaries ages 18 through 64 qualify for the Ticket to Work program, which is free and voluntary. The goal of the program is to help people with disabilities progress toward financial stability and independence. Visit our Ticket to Work page for more information.
Benefits Counseling is a free service that helps Social Security disability beneficiaries to make informed choices about SSA benefits, employment, and financial goals. Counselors provide beneficiaries with a personalized plan so they can work and earn to their fullest potential. Whether beneficiaries need supports to try work, assistance maintaining a job, the need to obtain items necessary for work, save income, or maintain cash and medical benefits, a Benefits Counselor can put beneficiaries on the path to occupational and financial independence. For more information about benefits counseling through KenCrest, please contact Wendy Pollock at email@example.com.
KenCrest Employer Partners
In order to place more individuals in rewarding jobs in their communities, KenCrest asks for your help in identifying potential businesses who might be interested in providing employment to individuals with disabilities. If you know of a business in Southeastern PA that we could contact for a conversation about being an Employment Partner with KenCrest, please contact Alli Smale, Director of Employment Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610-633-0104.
For those who are already Employer Partners of KenCrest, we’re committed to supporting you through this pandemic. The link to the following PDF outlines our strategy to keep your businesses and our stakeholders safe.
KenCrest Employment Success Stories
Ryan: Collecting Carts & Caring for Customers at ShopRite
Ryan has been part of the ShopRite team for nearly three years. As a carts/front end associate, Ryan works diligently to collect carts. Sometimes his responsibilities also include taking out the trash, sweeping, removing garbage from carts, and assisting customers with hauling groceries to their cars.
He recalls a time when he had to bag groceries for the customers, and one co-worker mentioned he did a good job with it.
The aspect of the position Ryan enjoys most is helping customers in any way he can, including greeting them and answering questions. He also mentions how friendly everyone is, including the employees he works with. Ryan says, “I learned things, and I grew with the help from my co-workers who showed me the ropes. I’m proud of that, and I’ve got people looking out for me.”
Ryan also says how much better he has become at his job since his first day. He has even set workplace goals for himself, saying, “I’d like to work in the bakery one day. I know it is fast-paced, but I think I’d be good at it.”
A component of the position Ryan has trouble adjusting to is having to wear a mask due to COVID-19 precautions. This can be the most challenging part of his day, but working closely with customers makes it all worth it for him.
We are eager to watch all the ways Ryan makes positive connections with each customer!
Faith – A Decade at Philadelphia School District
Faith has worked at the Philadelphia School District for an impressive ten years. She works in food service by preparing and serving the food. During her years at the district, she has accepted more responsibility, which includes entering student codes into the system as kids move through the lunch line, as well as cleaning the kitchen.
Working with youth, particularly students with learning disabilities, is something Faith enjoys. Her passion for helping these students is what drew her to working within a school district.
“Being around kids is what she enjoys, and everyone loves her,” says Kenesha, Faith’s employment consultant. “Everyone appreciates her drive and that she always wants to learn more things.”
Her willingness to train and adapt has served her well at this position, especially as her role has shifted due to COVID-19 restrictions. Faith’s hours switched to a two-week-on, two-week-off schedule. Since there are no children at school, boxed lunches are prepared and given to the parents.
We can’t wait to see what Faith accomplishes during her next decade at Philadelphia School District!
Billy – WalMart’s Newest Employee
Before Billy accepted a brand new position at WalMart, he worked at Schuylkill Valley Sports for over 20 years. There, his work week was composed of sorting and packing items that were ready to be delivered to various stores.
Since September, Billy has been a store associate for WalMart, holding a primary responsibility of custodial duties. He monitors trash cans across the store and parking lot, compacts large quantities of cardboard, dust mops the store, and helps to keep the freezer doors polished and cleaned.
“He is just really glad to be working,” says Debbie, Billy’s employment consultant. “He is a hard worker and will do whatever is asked of him.” Billy enjoys being back in the work force, earning a paycheck, and socializing with his peers.
Debbie adds, “He works alongside his mentor, and they work well together.”
While Billy is new to his store associate position, he enjoys his responsibilities and appreciates how this job offers flexible hours, especially since he has a family vacation planned.
We hope to see Billy around WalMart just as long as his previous position!
Chris – Keeping the Dishes Clean at the Phoenixville Hospital
Since 2011, Chris has been working at Phoenixville Hospital as a dishwasher for almost a decade. Working in the dish room comes with many tasks, including scraping and soaking plates, placing silverware in a bin, glasses in another, and loading the dishwasher.
Once a week, he helps the hospital’s Meals on Wheels program. He hoses down the coolers and makes them nice and shiny.
“The most important thing is getting the job done,” Chris says. He enjoys being busy and making friends at work. His co-workers call him Mr. Fantastic, a nickname he likes.
Chris has received several awards and recognition during his time at Phoenixville Hospital. He has earned Employee of the Month multiple times, as well as perfect attendance. Chris believes that it is all about stepping up and working hard.
When the pandemic first hit, it was an interesting time within Chris’s position. At first, he wasn’t as busy since the cafeteria was closed. As the cafeteria reopened, his position felt more like normal.
While Chris has gotten used to the mask yet, his mother says, “When COVID-19 hit, a lot of people were laid off, but his director kept Chris on because he always lifts everyone’s spirits. He’s always positive.” Chris tries to only think about the good stuff.
We are proud of all the awards Chris has earned and his commitment toward his position!
Tim – Working Behind the Scenes at Ursinus College
Tim accepted a job position in utility at Ursinus College with Sodexo in January. Due to the long process of pre-employment paperwork and COVID-19 shutdown, Tim did not begin working until August, following the opening of the college.
A long journey, Tim tried to stay patient during the wait. Glad to finally be employed, he primarily works in the kitchen, taking out the trash, putting away clean dishes, and delivering dirty dishes to the sinks. By tending to his responsibilities and working closely with his peers, Tim’s days go by in a flash.
Working 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Tim enjoys meeting new people and knows he can rely on them to help, especially when he has to learn his way around the school.
Amidst the pandemic, the layout of the cafeteria shifted, including the number of students allowed at each table. Tim has been taking his own precautions to keep himself and others safe, including wearing a mask and washing hands often. The new rules and guidelines were easy for Tim to adapt to and don’t bother him as he works.
Now that the college is open, we wish Tim an enjoyable first semester!
Jason – Lamp Assembler at Home Goods
In August, Home Goods earned a brand new hard working employee. Jason, a stock room associate, unpacks and assembles lamps. Adding the lampshade, winding the cord, and placing the price tags make up in the assembling process. Each day, Jason puts together 18 to 20 lamps.
Jason simply enjoys assembling the lamps and hopes to continue excelling in the position. Because he is a quick learner and great worker, Home Goods offered Jason more hours in another position. Eager about his current responsibilities, Jason decided to remain a stock room associate.
Although he spends most of his time assembling lamps, Jason has had experience unwrapping and adding shrink wrap to rugs, as well as sanitizing shopping carts. “He likes to learn other tasks and be well-rounded,” says Debbie, Jason’s employment consultant.
All in all, Jason’s supervisor loves what he’s doing and the amount of work he is putting out. “Jason has been a great employee,” Debbie adds. “He definitely seems happy working there and Home Goods seems happy to have him on the team.”
We are excited to see Jason grow in his new job!
Sergei – A Star Employee
Sergei has worked with Giant for two and a half years. As a front-end clerk, Sergei helps with collecting and cleaning carts, bagging groceries, cleaning the bathrooms, and stocking the shelves. Due to protocols regarding COVID-19, he sanitizes all carts while wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. Sergei’s hours do vary, but he mostly keeps to the same scheduling, working between 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
“He likes to be around people and help them. He likes being able to move around and not be in one spot,” says Kenesha, Sergei’s employment consultant. Being active in the workplace and making multiple contributions are the things he enjoys most.
Sergei’s co-workers always have great things to say about him, too. They enjoy his presence; admire his hard work; and notice how he always gets the job done, shows up on time, and never calls off. He is a motivated and determined worker.
We are excited to see all of the ways Sergei continues to make a positive impression at work!