Finding a job in a pandemic is one challenge. Finding a job for Oklahomans with a disability in a pandemic is a completely different challenge, but one Oklahoma company is doing just that.
CS&I, Career Strategies Incorporated, is a local agency with a passion for helping Oklahoma’s disabled.
Owner Sherman Johnson discovered the need at a previous job and knew he could do something to help. So, he started CS&I.
"Career Strategies provides employment services for people that are disadvantaged. We have a contract with the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services. We also have a contract with the Social Security Administration, and we’ve been doing this probably since about 2009," Johnson said.
Those disabilities can be anything from a visual or hearing impairment, physical or mental disabilities, even diabetes. It’s simply for those that want to work.
Kay Vryelle Harmon is the program manager and said it’s all about relationships. Relationships with the employers, and relationships with their clients to find the best place for them to work.
"When I get a new client, I have to do an assessment, and an assessment is me getting to know them, what their physical or mental disability is and how I can assist them and accommodate them," Harmon said.
After the assessment process, Harmon then markets those skills to the potential employers. This can be any almost any type of employment, from health care to call centers, to janitorial or warehouse.
Harmon said it is fairly common for her to go the job to help with training.
Quondonia Reed said after multiple back surgeries, she thought she’d never work again.
"I didn’t think getting back to work would be tangible, but they helped me get there. They gave me all the resources, the tools, they explained everything to me and here we are," Reed said.
So, this is a huge commitment, but one CS&I is passionate about. They said seeing their clients get that hope of one day being employed again makes it all worth the while.
For more information, contact CSI at 405-601-6710.