"Ohio Valley Goodwill Shares Story of Recent Award-Winning Evaluation Specialist!"

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L to R: Rodney Epperson, Stephanie Eppley, Kelly Manns and Emily Gillespie- Ohio Valley Goodwill Work Evaluation Team Members.

As part of its array of many programs directed towards community employment, Ohio Valley Goodwill also offers a Work Evaluation service. The organization’s Senior Case Manager for Work Evaluation, Stephanie Eppley, was recently singled out for recognition by the Southwest Ohio Rehabilitation Association (SWORA), for her outstanding professionalism in assisting individuals to determine their personal career paths. Eppley has served as a Work Evaluation specialist for more than 16 years and is passionate about her work. “Helping individuals identify and discover what their capabilities are and then supporting them in finding career options that will utilize their strengths is very exciting to me,” said Eppley. “It is so satisfying to watch people come to the realization that there are so many things that they can do that they had previously never even considered,” added Eppley. Goodwill’s Work Evaluation process offers the opportunity for people to explore their interests, skills and abilities through a variety of formats including personal interviews, paper and pencil tests and job try-outs all designed to provide the individual insights as to future career directions. Evaluations can be structured to meet the individual’s needs in terms of formats used and time required to complete. The goal of the Work Evaluation experience is to provide the individual a road map to guide their vocational future. The comprehensive nature of this process also looks at the person’s characteristics in terms of attendance, punctuality, supervisory interaction skills and all of the other related aspects of employee readiness for the work world. This may also address issues like the essential importance of hygiene, grooming and other critical variables related to obtaining and maintaining employment. Recently, Eppley worked with a high school-aged student struggling with homelessness.  Through the young man’s participation in the Evaluation process, he was determined appropriate for enrollment in Goodwill’s Food Services Training program. Following graduation from Food Services Training, the individual was able to successfully obtain community employment with the support of Goodwill’s Employment Services team. Now employed at the University of Cincinnati Residents Dining Hall, the individual is earning a paycheck and feeling good about his achievements. Goodwill’s Work Evaluation program serves an average of more than 100 individuals a year with a variety of disabilities and helps them to get on the path to employment. “It’s really all about helping people find the right jobs that match their personal strengths, skills and abilities,” said Eppley. Individuals that participate in Goodwill’s Work Evaluation program are typically referred by the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission, Worker’s Compensation, Veterans Administration, Local School Districts, Free Store Food Bank as well as County Boards of Developmental Disabilities. For more information about the Work Evaluation program, please contact Kelly Manns, Asst. Director of Employment and Training Services at (513) 771-4800, ext. 6214 or email: kmanns@cincigoodwill.org.

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