Jonathan Hales reached a significant milestone recently when he passed the trial period of his new job at Dos Coyotes Border Café in the Sacramento International Airport. With his enthusiasm and excellent customer service, he continuously helps to brighten up the busy atmosphere for hundreds of travelers.
Despite his recent success, finding a job was not an easy task initially. “I have a learning disability,” explains Jonathan. “Sometimes I need a little extra help and more detailed job descriptions.”
In January 2018, Jonathan relocated to Sacramento from New Jersey with his brother. After almost a half-year of searching for a steady job without luck, he decided to reach out for help.
In June 2018, the California Department of Rehabilitation referred Jonathan to PRIDE Industries’ Sacramento Employment Services office, where he was connected to Job Developer Latasha Funches. Together, they worked on building Jonathan’s resume to highlight his skills and strengths, practiced interviewing, and searched for jobs.
“Jonathan was wonderful to work with,” says Latasha. “He showed real dedication to getting a job, including always participating in job club, applying to jobs by himself, following up with potential employers. Jonathan is such a self-starter, and we need more people like him!
In November 2018, both of their hard work and tenacity paid off when Jonathan was hired on the spot by Dos Coyotes. Along with a paycheck, his job also came with benefits that started on the first day. Latasha helped him fill out paperwork and new hire documents, and Jonathan was able to start work immediately.
In his position, Jonathan works in the kitchen washing dishes, performs light cleaning, and disposes of trash and recyclables while abiding by the strict airport security rules. “My manager always tells me to keep up the good work! I am continuing to grow in my role by helping to train new employees. It’s been a very welcoming and inclusive place to work, and I have more confidence in myself.”
“My favorite part of my job is working with customers and helping them out. I like making people happy by smiling and asking how their day is, especially in a more stressful place like the airport.”
“The first day I went out there, the manager was so impressed with him!” says John Edwards, PRIDE’s SMF Airport Job Coach. “He is doing so well and started working without support in the first week. I follow up with him every once and while, and he has thrived in this position.”
With a paycheck comes increased independence; Jonathan has used the earnings from his job to visit his family in New Jersey. “My family is incredibly important to me, and I felt so proud to tell them about my new job!” With some help from his older brother, Jonathan now has a car and no longer relies on ride-sharing options for transportation.
Now that Jonathan has passed his probation period, he will work independently with the help of his Job Coach and Job Developer, if needed. He is considering attending school in the future but would like to continue building skills in his current position. We wish him the best in his career path!