“I went to Vocational Rehab at first. The first time they couldn’t find me a job, at all. Then I met one of my parent’s friends. He’s like, “Get back into VR.” Then that’s when they talked to me about BAC and offered me the job out here as an OJT.” Recalls Robert Vogt.
For many people with varied abilities, it is a struggle to find employment training opportunities, much less be offered a job. At Brevard Achievement Center (BAC) the On The Job Training (OJT) program offers a paid opportunity to gain job skills and experience of what it’s like to work in an employment environment. For the employer, this program is an opportunity to mentor someone who wants to work and learn new skills, as well as get an employee for a specific time period – all at no cost.
Robert started his on-the-job training at BAC’s Port Canaveral contract location. He was trained in custodial/housekeeping services for a large public customer.
“I was definitely properly trained for the job.” recalls Robert. After the eight-week OJT was completed, Robert was offered permanent employment at the Port Canaveral location. His daily tasks include cleaning offices, bathrooms and taking out the trash. Prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, Robert also worked in the cruise terminals among “wall to wall” cruise ship passengers. Robert has worked for BAC at Port Canaveral for 3 years now. “I love working for BAC, it felt great to get the job because I knew then I can be on my own. I feel very supported here.”
The ultimate goal of BAC is to empower individuals with disabilities by providing training and job skills so they begin to look outside of BAC for employment opportunities. Robert has achieved this goal, and while his BAC family will miss him, we are so excited that he will be taking a position at a local hospital, doing housekeeping work.
“When I first started working at BAC, I was very shy. I wouldn’t talk to anyone. I think it is just being out here for so long, talking to a whole bunch of different people, I’ve just gotten used to it. And so, I was talking to my friend who works [at the hospital] and she told me that they were short-staffed in housekeeping. And she’s like, “So why don’t you apply?” I’m like, “All right, I’ll apply.” And two days later, I got a call for my first interview. My friend talked to them, and she told him about my hand and all that before he even met me. He’s like, “That’s no big deal. We’ll work around that.” The interview went very well.”
Robert is well on his way to gaining personal independence and achieving his own goals. “My goal is to move out on my own so I can start a family and all that.”
Congratulations Robert on your success and personal growth!
Many of the people BAC works with need a more diverse resume to give them a greater chance at obtaining employment. Could your company use an extra person? Are you willing to train that person on how to do the job you need? By “hiring” someone through the OJT program, you’ll be providing that experience.
For more information, please visit bacbrevard.com