My Job Is the Heart of My Life

Employment services

“My job means everything to me; it’s the heart of my life. I feel worthy and confident.”

For more than 20 years, Robert Teaff owned a swimming pool cleaning business before leaving to care for his three children. “Being a stay-at-home father was a lot of hard work!” said Robert. “Besides watching my kids, I cleaned up the house, did maintenance work, and completed odd jobs.”

Unfortunately, when Robert later encountered personal hardship, he was faced with homelessness and needed to get a job. “I learned about PRIDE Industries while job searching on my own. The mission to create jobs for people with disabilities and the opportunities for advancement all convinced me that it was a great company to work for. Through my Department of Rehabilitation Counselor, I was referred to PRIDE Industries’ Employment Services Office in Woodland, CA, in Spring 2019.”

“When I first came to PRIDE, I didn’t even have a resume, since I had never needed one.” Robert connected with PRIDE Job Developer Alissa Villegas to shape the skills needed to re-enter the job market. “With some extra training in computer skills, we were successfully helped Robert showcase his abilities to potential employers,” said Alissa.

“Alissa’s help was incredible,” said Robert. “She helped me create a resume, practiced interviewing with me, and worked hard to reach my goal of working with PRIDE Industries. Despite my learning disability and being out of the formal job market for so long, I found that getting back in was an easy experience!”

PRIDE’s Job Developers assess each client’s strengths, abilities, and career interests to help make job placements through community employer connections. To help Robert reach his goal of working for PRIDE Industries, Alissa contacted PRIDE’s Recruiter at the Sacramento International Airport to recommend a job interview. In June 2019, Robert aced the interview and was hired as a Custodian. “I felt so happy when I heard that I got the job; it was the best feeling in the world,” said Robert.

To ensure success at his new job, HR Representative and Case Manager Tameka Rich and Job Coach John Edwards arranged job coaching sessions to check in on Robert’s progress. After only a month at his new job, comments have been received through PRIDE’s First-Class Customer Service Program regarding his excellent work:

“I have a temporary disability and needed to use the restroom, which was closed for cleaning. I asked through the taped-off section if the custodian could come to the entrance. After Robert saw I had a disability, he opened it up for me to use. This courtesy demonstrated Robert going above and beyond to accommodate me.”

“I feel appreciated and enjoy getting praised for what I do,” said Robert. “I am often thanked by people for cleaning the bathrooms so well and told that they are the cleanest they’ve ever seen.”

“I am proud to represent PRIDE Industries at the Sacramento Airport. Without their help, I’d still be looking for a job today! My new goal is to work my way up to a custodial lead or supervisor, or possibly a job coach to help others with disabilities succeed in their jobs. With the earnings from this new job, I am also saving up money for a new apartment for my family and cat.”