How Can KenCrest’s Employment Program Help People With IDD

employment

For 35 years, KenCrest’s Employment program has helped individuals find meaningful careers within Pennsylvania.

By Sydney Kerelo

Since 1989, KenCrest has been a beacon of hope for people with an intellectual or developmental disability in the Southeastern Pennsylvania area. We've helped them find meaningful careers that genuinely interests them, leading to countless success stories. Imagine finding your passion at businesses like Kimberton Whole Foods, Steel City Coffeehouse & Brewery, or even the Elmwood Park Zoo, where you could work alongside giraffes and in the gift shop. These stories are not just dreams but real possibilities with KenCrest's Employment Program.

Feeling lost in your job search, struggling to find a job that truly resonates with you? KenCrest’s Employment program is here to provide a personalized approach tailored specifically to your unique needs and interests. We understand that your journey is unique, and we're here to help you find that perfect job that aligns with your passions and skills.

Sunnybrook-ballroom-employment
An individual supported by KenCrest working at the SunnyBrook Ballroom. // Photo by Aubrey Hoffert

How Can KenCrest’s Employment Program Help?

For 35 years, KenCrest’s job coaches have helped connect those with IDD to businesses that offer meaningful job options that cater to one’s interests. They also allow the job seeker to develop their resume and digital networking.

KenCrest believes in Employment First – that everyone who wants to work can. Our Employment team's person-centered approach ensures just that. We match job candidates with careers based on their skills and preferences, design a customized employment strategy to align with their interests, provide support in resume writing and portfolio and website creation, help coordinate workplace accommodations, and offer real-work training. We're not just here to help you find a job but to support you every step of the way, ensuring your success and satisfaction.

Our network of employer partners offers various positions, including those at Wawa, Frederick Living, Tower Health, The School District of Philadelphia, Takeda, Freedom Nissan, Normandy Farms, Giant, The Meadows at Shannondell, Sodexo, Aramark, and the Elmwood Park Zoo.

Plus, the Employment program offers additional services like Ticket to Work— a program of the Social Security Administration—that provides services like career counseling, vocational rehabilitation, resume development, interview preparation, and benefits counseling—a free service helping Social Security disability beneficiaries make informed choices about their benefits, employment, and financial goals.

employment-elmwood-park-zoo
Danny working alongside the giraffe's at the Elmwood Park Zoo. // Photo by Aubrey Hoffert

Get Help From a Job Coach

Several KenCrest Job Coaches assist those they support in finding careers that fit their wants and needs. One coach, Ben Goldberg, has helped find permanent positions in restaurants, grocery stores, and retail stores.

As a job coach, Goldberg’s duty is not only to help those he supports find employment but also to help prepare them for that job. He works with them daily to evaluate their work, help train them, and talk with them about their duties, what they like about the job, what they don’t like, and any challenges.

However, if one is not interested in working in a public setting, there are even supported and customized employment options. A KenCrest job coach can even help individuals develop their own businesses. One individual supported is an artist who has recently started selling his artwork for employment. Another individual started her own baking business, and a job coach was working alongside her every step of the way.

Get Started with KenCrest’s Employment Program

Are you interested in getting involved with KenCrest’s Employment program? Contact our Director of Employment Services, Jessica Birkmire, at Jessica.Birkmire@kencrest.org or call her at 215-429-6639.