SEP helps the Community

Mayra focuses on a cleaning task during her shift at Ralphs.

The check-out line at Ralph’s was full of people getting groceries for the holiday weekend, but Mayra kept pace bagging the groceries as they reached her,

engaging with customers and then moving on to help the next person. 

Erica Gonzales, Mayra’s job coach from The Campbell Center beamed with pride from 20 feet away as she watched Mayra work. “I’ve seen a lot of improvement,” said Erica. “Two months ago she was talking a lot, I’ve seen that, but now, she’s been work related. She’s always on it.”

Erica is one of 3 recently hired job coaches for The Campbell Center’s Supported Employment Program, (SEP). The nonprofit has been transitioning from a sheltered workshop to placing and supporting Associates in jobs at local businesses, just as the pandemic greatly impacted in-person hiring. The support of grants from the city of Glendale, LA Breakfast Club and other foundations have helped the program attract new talent and support more Associates.

Along with guiding Associates to get new jobs in the community, they have been helping people like Mayra who already have a job they like, succeed in it. Mayra

has always been outgoing, but she struggled with getting distracted to the point of not keeping up with her work. Since Erica started coaching her in February, Mayra got much better at staying focused. “I notice when she starts to talk, when I think its going to escalate, I get closer and redirect her, ” said Erica. “Usually a quick question like, ‘What are you doing next?,’ is all she needs to keep on task. It works really well,” said Erica.

Mayra is also more confident with Erica in her corner. ​​​​​​​”I feel good,” said Mayra. “It helps because sometimes I want to help a customer… and they get mad.” Having a coach’s support at work when the occasional customer got upset about something beyond her control made Myra less worried about what her manager would think about her.

As Mayra took a broom and started sweeping each aisle of the store, Erica concluded, “She’s always hustling, staying attentive. She’s always on it.” Mayra smiled and moved on to the next aisle.

We can’t do it without you! Your support gives us the ability to better serve our Associates by expanding and improving our critical services like SEP.

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