Since 1984, KenCrest has worked in Pennsylvania communities to build employer partnerships, identify existing paid employment opportunities, and create new, customized paid positions.
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.
KenCrest Employment Success Stories
June 2020: Colin, Heather & James – Working to Keep ACME Markets Safe and Efficient
ACME Markets has been a long-time supporter and employer of individuals with developmental disabilities. Through KenCrest’s Employment program, several of our consumers work for ACME, including Colin (employed for 1.5 years), Heather (employed for 6 years), and James (employed for 23 years).
The COVID-19 pandemic caused grocery stores everywhere to take new and stringent actions to keep customers and store workers safe during this time. All three of our ACME workers immediately began wearing masks and gloves at all times, and they learned about how to have good hand hygiene. They continued their roles as cart pushers/collectors and baggers, and Colin was asked to increase his tasks to include washing down the refrigerated sections due to his hard work.
Before the pandemic hit, Colin, Heather, and James worked 20 hours each week at their stores in Philadelphia and Feasterville, PA. Since that time, they’ve been asked to work another day or two each week to keep up with high traffic in the stores. None of them has missed a day of work during the crisis.
In a great gesture of kindness, Heather’s mother made and donated masks for the 50+ employees at the Philadelphia ACME where Heather works. Many of the staff were so grateful for the extra mask and the generosity their coworker’s mother.
Leann, the KenCrest Employment Consultant for these three consumers, spoke of how proud her ACME crew makes her.
“I’m extremely pleased with how all of the consumers were so hands-on and stepped up to do whatever was asked of them without any issues,” said Leann. “I was so impressed.”
In addition, Leann said all three workers are happy, healthy, and doing well.
May 2020: Emmy – A Superhero Among Us
As a human services provider, KenCrest is proud to be an agency filled with essential frontline workers—not just the staff we employ, but those we support as well. Throughout KenCrest’s Employment program, 30% of the individuals we support in job coaching are essential workers who still continue to report to their places of employment during the coronavirus pandemic. They are hospital workers, grocery clerks, retail associates, and food/hospitality servers—each one a superhero in their own right.
One particular superhero whom we support, Emmy, is a part-time employee at Wawa. While Emmy’s schedule hasn’t changed much, many of her daily responsibilities at work have. Prior to the pandemic, her main position was keeping the coffee bars clean and restocked with the many coffee compliments patrons use regularly—stirrers, sleeves, creamers, sugar, etc. When Wawa shifted away from their self-serve bar, Emmy’s tasks pivoted with them.
Now she spends much of her time helping to keep the counter tops, touch screens, doors, and other frequently touched surfaces sanitized for visitors and her fellow team members. While working in such a high-traffic establishment during this season could be daunting for most, Emmy embraces every day with a brave smile and a mask to keep it safe.
We are truly grateful to Emmy, our Direct Support Professionals and Employment Specialists, and all the amazing individuals with disabilities who are a part of the essential workforce. The greatest heroes among us don’t wear capes!