Goodwill’s IPS Program Leads to New Job Opportunities for Anquenette
Goodwill's Individual Placement and Support (IPS) program is a partnership with the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division, and Project Access. Anquenette was referred to IPS in November 2021. She was receiving SSI benefits and hoped to find a job where she could save money to get an apartment for herself one day.
Anquenette wasn’t sure if she wanted IPS services since she was already receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. However, because of her goal of getting her own apartment, she thought she would give IPS a try with the encouragement of her Project Access Care Coordinator (CC). Anquenette had several discussions with her CC and even met with an employment specialist from Goodwill to learn more about IPS. Eventually, this led to her enrollment into IPS services in January 2022. Anquenette met with her Employment Specialist Ee Lee every Monday morning for one hour to explore job opportunities. Anquenette wanted a job where she could work independently. In one of the first steps, Ee and Anquenette went through her job history and developed a resume. Anquenette wanted to work with animals and applied for a volunteer position at the Humane Society for experience and to add to her resume. She considered what it would mean to work at the various pet companies in the area, but one barrier would be having to work with animals besides dogs. Anquenette and Ee developed a new plan to work as a stocker in the Retail Industry.
On May 10, 2022, Anquenette was ready to explore jobs in her community. Ee accompanied her to a couple of companies where she would like to work and observed the working environment. It was a fun experience because they drove past Ross Dress for Less, and Anquenette thought it would be a nice place to work. Ee helped her apply to Ross Dress for Less, and by that Friday, they had received a call back for an interview. The following week, Anquenette was working through her onboarding paperwork and was delighted to find out that she had been offered the position of Sales Associate. Anquenette started her job on June 2, 2022. She was pleased to learn that her starting wage is $14 per hour. Her job duties include attending to the fitting rooms, putting clothing back on the racks, and marking down clearance items.
For those considering IPS services, Anquenette noted, "I thought I did not need IPS, but I am actually making more money with my new job and still keeping my benefits. I will be able to get my own apartment and one day a dog too. I hope that by sharing my story, it can help someone else get a job."