We love our annual trip to Olympia to share stories of supported employment with legislators. This year dozens of clients met with nearly 40 legislators from 18 districts across Western Washington.
Meeting with Representative Vicki Kraft!
Meeting with Representative Brandon Vick!
Legislators hear about businesses in their district that benefit from the diverse workforce and Trillium’s supports; job seekers show their video resumes hoping for a connection to a job; and of course we share our great appreciation for our state’s funding of supported employment.
Meeting with Representative Mike Pellicciotti
Meeting with Representative Jesse Young!
Representative Liz Pike posted this picture and message to her Facebook page!
The Kitsap Sun published an article highlighting Trillium’s new partnership with the Peninsula School District. Click here to check it out!
The Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal also published an article on Trillium titled “Trillium opening doors for all”. Read it here!
We are privileged to announce a new addition to our Board of Directors, Karen Satterberg! Karen has been the Community Relations Director for Wesley Homes Lea Hill in Auburn for 6 years. She comes to us with a background of being in the Financial markets for 26 years prior to that. Karen graduated from WSU in Hospitality Management and worked for Hyatt Hotels right out of school. Active in Auburn Rotary and being on their board, working on the Committee for Partners for Work program, is how she came to know about the wonderful work that Trillium is doing. She also brings personal insight as she is a mother to a 20- year-old, Autistic young man.
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We recently asked a number of our clients why working is important to them. Here’s what we found out:
“I want to work so that I can help my family pay bills. I also want to work because I love to go on vacation.”
– Madelyn W
“I work because I get out of the house, help people, make friends and make money. I make a living. Best Buy is a good job for me. They treat me with respect and my boss is very nice.”
– Jeremy O
“I love working with kids. I love seeing the kids’ faces light up.”
– Sabra Q
“It makes me feel like I am contributing to society and I don’t have to rely on people to buy me things. ”
– Kayla T
“Because it’s important to work your hardest and make your family proud.”
– Jamie H
“Work matters because I am making money, and my Mom and Dad are retired and I feel like I need to make money to support them, and because I like working. I like what I do. Otherwise, I’d just be doing nothing…and that would get boring after a while.”
– Tammi G
“I want to work because I want to save up money and go visit Jerusalem. I want to visit the Holy Land and explore a place sacred to my religion.”
– Eldon A
“I want to work so that I can see my favorite Broadway plays.”
– Michael W
“My favorite thing about working is making customers happy. I like seeing the looks on their faces when they get good service. ”
– Jared H
“For me, I think it shouldn’t be about disability. People should see us as capable. I want to make a living and not be on SSI or SSDI. I don’t want to be seen as ‘poor, helpless little me’.”
– Andrea P
“Having a job makes me feel independent. I pay my bills. I’m responsible. It makes me feel good, excellent. I like everything about my job.”
– Jason R
We believe that people of all abilities should have the chance to be meaningfully employed and share in the benefits that come from it.
Each year we participate in an annual Legislative Forum on issues of importance in the Developmental Disabilities System. This year, one of our clients, Tony, was given the opportunity to speak before members of the State Legislature about his employment! Check it out!
Every year, Trillium has the distinct pleasure to recognize several fantastic inclusive employers as part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. These businesses exhibit excellent qualities and we want everyone to know about it! We’ve had various themes from year to year, selecting different aspects of what it means to be a true inclusive employer and selecting those that exemplify each aspect. This year, our King, Pierce and Kitsap County offices selected employers based on these three aspects: best new inclusive employer, the most inclusive workplace, and the most active advocate.
For some employers, hiring their first supported employee can be a bit intimidating. However, nearly all of them quickly realize and celebrate the newfound contributions and benefits! Some can’t wait to hire another, tell their peers about supported employment, or increase the hours and duties of their employee as soon as possible. The winners of the 2016 Best New Inclusive Employer are:
Bill Korum’s Puyallup Nissan (Pierce County)
Town & Country (Kitsap County)
Inspired Results (King County)
Town & Country
When it comes to fostering a healthy workplace environment, some employers take great consideration into the abilities, needs and cultures of their employees. These employers take action, and see to it that their employees feel welcome, included and valuable. The winners of the 2016 Most Inclusive Workplace are:
Gordon Family YMCA (Pierce)
Seefilm Bremerton (Kitsap)
Panera Bread (King)
We at Trillium have found that one of the most effective means to help businesses overcome concerns about supported employment is to hear to it works from their peers. Several of the employers that partner with us are happy to share their experiences and how it has benefited their business, often in unexpected ways. These employers have encouraged other businesses to consider how supported employment can help their company achieve their goals. The winners of the Most Active Advocate are:
Jimmy Johns (Pierce)
Catie’s Creations (Kitsap)
Azteca Mexican Restaurant (King)
We are so pleased to announce these award winners and we thank them for all that they do for their supported employees and for building an inclusive workforce! Want to know where you can find these employers? Check out our Inclusive Business Finder!
It’s October! That means National Disability Employment Awareness month is here! It is during this month that we celebrate and congratulate the many individuals that have pursued their personal goals to be employed and earn a wage despite the hurdles they may face. We also recognize and thank the many employers who see through stereotypes and assumed limitations, who employ people based on their character and ability to perform the tasks they are given. So please take part throughout this month and thank a local inclusive employer. You can find them on our Inclusive Business Finder here, or by identifying them by their Inclusive Employer window decal at their storefront!
What better way to explain the results of Supported Employment than by sharing the experiences of one of our amazing inclusive employers! Papa John’s Pizza has been partnering with Trillium for years. We are grateful to work with several locations, and have a special place in our hearts for General Manager Charles Campbell. He recently presented us with this referral letter and asked that we share it with future employers:
Dear friends of Trillium and potential employers,
My name is Charles Campbell. I am currently a General Manager with Papa John’s Pizza and I manage a location in Kent. I have been with my company for going on 15 years and I have worked and held several different positions/roles within my company. I know my business well. I was recently approached by a job coach with Trillium and asked if I would be willing to write a testimonial that was based off my experience in working with both Trillium and their clients. If I’m being completely honest, I’m not sure if it was the pizza dust and flour that was stuck between my ears or if it was the number of pizzas I had to make at that very moment that caused me to ponder the thought for just a second. When I came to my senses I was elated. I got to thinking how excited I would be to share just a taste of all of the great things not only the clients but what Trillium has done for myself, my business and our community.
I have had the pleasure over the past two years to work with several of Trillium’s clients and job coaches. In each partnership my expectations were not only met but exceeded. In business consistency is important whether it’s the consistency built in your operations, service and product you provide or the consistency on the promise of excellence you expect your employees to deliver on a daily basis. The promise of excellence and superiority that your business lays the foundation to grow and build from. This is the attention and dedication you get from Trillium and their clients. The clients Trillium provide come to work eager and excited to go to work for you. In many cases their attendance and punctuation will even exceed that of some of your current employees. The clients bring joy and a smile to your business and on many occasions have been known to turn a bad day good for someone. The positive attitude and enthusiasm they bring is infectious and provides an upbeat and energetic environment. In my restaurant I have gotten to the point where I rely on them and the work I know I’ll get. I know and truly understand the work they do literally has the ability to positively affect the success of the entire week. The job coaches from Trillium are some of the nicest people you can imagine with huge hearts and always there if needed. Between the awesome hard working punctual clients and the job coaches of Trillium , the duo is the perfect match for any business looking for quality work and to be a part of their community while doing a great thing all at the same time.
It is my soaring recommendation to partner up and work with Trillium by hiring their clients. If I had the ability to share what the future of your company would entail and all of the ways your business would benefit from making the smart decision, you wouldn’t still be reading my testimonial. I would be absolutely delighted to share more about my personal experiences with anyone interested in asking.
General Manager Papa John’s Pizza
If you would like to contact Charles and get more information about his experience, please let us know and we will provide you with his contact information. Click here to find how to contact us!
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On August 18th we had the great opportunity to hold our biannual All Staff Day! Trilliumites (as we like to call ourselves) from Clark, Kitsap, King and Pierce Counties came together for a fun day of insightful training, engaging discussions and lively team building. The topics included career advancement, difficult conversations, discovery and assessments, networking and more. With so many in attendance, the group had to be split in two!
Trillium has been steadily growing and evolving from its humble beginnings in 1983. Initially operating only in King County with 3 staff members, Trillium has expanded over the years into 3 other counties. In 2006, our team was at 17, a decade later we’re 79 and going strong!
With more Trilliumites on board, we’re able to pursue our mission on a grander scale! Back in the 80’s we helped dozens, now we’re helping hundreds. Over last decade we’ve more than quadrupled our reach, serving over 500 people and over 450 employers!
We look forward to what the next decade brings us!
Trillium facilitated an employer panel as part of the Diversity Conference hosted by Olympic College on June 24th. The panel included Silver City Brewery’s Head Brewer, Gary Winn, South Kitsap School District’s Superintendent Dr. Reid, Shevy Schmaus of Hangar Clinic, and Stan Linn representing Hop Jack’s Restaurant.
Expert Panel, from left, Gary Winn, Stan Linn, Shevy Schmaus, Dr. Reid
Each employer shared their experience of integrating employees with intellectual disabilities into their team. Several examples detailed of improving workflow or filling a labor gap, and positive customer feedback. They also shared openly about challenges that Trillium had helped them overcome.
And then we heard something new. Gary from Silver City explained that hiring Larry, his supported employee, created a leadership opportunity for his existing team members. Like any new business decision, Gary needed the right point person to ensure success with their first supported employee. What he discovered was a unique leadership opportunity for a staff member to ensure that Larry was well trained and integrated into the crew. Great thought went into selecting this point person, knowing that this would not be a traditional new hire onboarding process. Gary was proud as he shared the ways the staff person had risen to the opportunity, describing a powerful and unexpected benefit to building an inclusive team.
What have you discovered, or maybe look forward to discovering, through supported employment? Please share your stories in the comment section below!
Recent Trillium Highlights:
Michelle Suarez, Jaymie Heberlien, and LeEllen Ferguson, were promoted to Program Manager, to help us ensure quality as our teams grow.
We are new to Twitter! Follow us for up to date notices on newly acquired jobs and anniversaries!
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We at Trillium are thrilled to announce a new resource on our website! The tool, cordially called the Inclusive Business Finder, provides information to help locate businesses and organizations who embrace inclusive employment practices with Trillium’s help. Here’s how it works:
Select the tool from our website’s main menu
Select the County you’re interested in
Select one of seven categories: Shopping, Entertainment, Restaurant, Food & Beverage, Government & Education, Health & Wellness, Business & Professional Services, and More…
You will then be provided with an interactive map, showing you the precise location of the businesses and organizations we partner with. So whether you’re looking for an inclusive pizza place to go to for dinner, or you’re just curious to see who we work with, this tool is for you! Click here to go check it out for yourself!
Why is it important? Inclusive Employers represent some of the best members of our community. Their open-minded employment practices provide meaningful jobs for those who otherwise might have been overlooked to contribute to the workforce. Please help us support these businesses by patronizing them and reinforcing their great businesses practices!
Recent Trillium Highlights:
Trillium has brought on some great new talent in an attempt to meet demand:
5 Employment Consultants
Taylor Saunders – King
Morgan Reese – King
Alex Blanchard – Pierce
Ashton Webb – Clark
Amy Reed – Clark
2 Job Coaches
Tanya Cain – King
Ashley Frantzen – Kitsap
2 Administrative Assistants
Sean Gleason – King
David Dartt – King
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Mark accepting the Governor’s Employer Award with Heidi Scheibner, Kitsap Program Manager.
Trillium is thrilled to welcome our newest Trillium board member, Mark Shaefer. Mark is the managing partner of Hop Jack’s restaurants and brings over 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry.
Mark has developed a deep working knowledge of Trillium, having hired his first supported employee with our help back in 2012 at the Silverdale location. Today, Hop Jack’s has 13 employees with intellectual disabilities at seven locations across Kitsap, King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. It’s a thriving company with many expansion plans and a commitment to continue their practice of including people with disabilities in their growing workforce.
In 2015, Mark accepted the Governor’s Employer Award for his success in those efforts. You can watch a video of his acceptance speech for the award below—demonstrating his passion for supported employment. We look forward to the many ways Mark’s help will strengthen our organization and services.
Recent Trillium Highlights:
Thanks to a wildly successful 2015, Trillium has been inundated in requests for services and we need more help! All of our locations are actively searching for new employment consultants to meet demand. If you or someone you know is looking for a rewarding, dynamic career, check out our career opportunities page!
On Thursday April 28th, three members of Trillium’s staff got to visit with students at Kent Meridian High School, as part of their career day. Throughout the 7 hour event, dozens of students had a chance to learn about our mission and history, as well as participate in activities demonstrating some of the necessary skills when job developing and coaching. They even had the opportunity to construct real messages that went out over our Facebook and Twitter accounts. We had a great time and look forward to participating at the next career day.
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Many who made the trip to Olympia seated together ready for the Governor’s rally to begin!
Employment For All Advocacy Day, March 2nd, was a fantastic experience.
Over 40 individuals, both clients and Trillium staff, traveled to Olympia for the day.
We met with 20 legislators representing districts in Clark, King, Kitsap and Pierce counties.
Students and teachers from the Federal Way School District explained “School To Work” as a successful model to get work-ready students into the workforce.
Nearly 200 people gathered for the Governor’s Proclamation of Employment For All Day. As the rally began, chants of “WE CAN WORK! WE CAN WORK!” could be heard echoing through the legislative building. During the rally, legislators were recognized for their efforts on behalf of supported employment.
The Columbia room within the Legislative building housed the Arc’s rally which kicked off the day!
From left: Trillium Employment Consultant Makynlie, Representative Hans Zeiger, and Supported-Employee Ian
The day was a wonderful opportunity for people with disabilities to share their stories with their legislators about why work matters. Legislators learn about the businesses in their districts that have created an integrated workforce and they hear how earning a paycheck enables someone to contribute to the economy and, of course, be a taxpayer! This is our opportunity to thank Washington legislators for their investment in supported employment programs. Businesses and individuals with disabilities rely on the leadership of our elected officials to help us create an inclusive workforce. There are still many unemployed and underemployed Washingtonians with intellectual disabilities so together we will continue to ensure employment for all.
It was an energizing and empowering day to get the voice of people with disabilities in the halls of our capitol and making their mark on the advancement of inclusion in our communities. Thanks to the Arc of Washington and Community Employment Alliance for coordinating the day.
Recent Trillium highlights:
Kitsap spent a day preparing clients for interivews with a fun speed interview event. They are ready to work–you ready to hire? Check out this fun video.
We are continuing to distribute our INCLUSIVE EMPLOYER window decals to businesses throughout the state! Keep on the lookout!
Inclusive Employer decal being put up at iFly in Tukwila
The decal is up on the window at this Papa Johns location in Maple Valley
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