Our Supported Employment Program: Jessie’s Story (VIDEO)

Jessie Anderson is an Integrity Works success story. Watch how our supported employment program helped him develop his own business.

Click to watch the video below! The transcipt for the video follows. If you have any questions about the supported employment program, please feel free to contact us today at (501) 406-0442


Sandy: “Hi, my name is Sandy Leonard and I am the supervisor for adult services here with Integrity, Inc. I am also in charge of the Supported Employment Program which is the new pilot program getting our consumers jobs out in the community.

The purpose of the Supported Employment Program is to find consumers with limited abilities a job in the community and we go through several steps. The first step is the consumer saying they want a job. Then comes the discovery process, what kind of job do you want, looking for a job and finding a job match for that person with what they want and what the community needs with their services.”

Susan: “My name is Susan Stotler and I am a retired teacher. I met Jessie in 1992 when I was his high school teacher. Working in special education, I already had connections with different agencies and one day I decided I wanted to try something different and Integrity, Inc. is where I decided to try.”

Sandy: “It was really a growing experience for the both of us. The only contact I had with Susan before then was when his IPP was due or when there were papers that needed to be signed. We really got to know one another and saw that we were both really wanting the same thing for Jessie which was for him to be a viable part of the community where, as I said before, he had not been able to do that.”

Sandy: “Jessie, do you want to tell them who you are?”

Jessie: “My name is Jessie Anderson. I come here every day to the workshop and go out and work in the community”

Adam: “My name is Adam White and I am the job coach for Jessie Anderson. Jessie got into cutting lawns without realizing this might be a job he would want to do. The grass on the grounds here at Integrity, Inc. was needing to be cut. I was just going to go out there with him to cut the grass a couple days a week just to be sure the place was kept up and Jessie got to where he was asking to cut grass every day. We thought, ‘Hey, this might be a fantastic job for Jessie to do full time to make money for himself and get that gainful employment that we had been pushing for.’”

Sandy: “My favorite story about Jessie is the first time he went out and mowed the grass with Adam. He really didn’t know. He had never had the opportunity to be out in the community or to do anything other than a sheltered workshop. The first time he went out and he saw that he could be outside mowing the grass and coming back in with that big old grin on his face, that has got to be my all-time favorite.

Sandy: “So now that you have your business started Jessie, what do you hope for the future of your business? Do you want it to get bigger or smaller or stay the same?”

Jessie: “Bigger.”

Sandy: “Bigger. Why do you want it to get bigger?

Jessie: “Have more yards.”

Sandy: “Have more yards to do. And with more yards comes what?”

Jessie: “More yards to cut.”

Sandy: “And with more yards to cut you get what?”

Jessie: “More money!”

Sandy: “That’s right, you get more money.”

Sandy: “It took him a while to understand that it’s his business, it’s not just work, but his business. But he is starting to catch on. My biggest hope for the Supportive Employment Program is that every consumer I have that has the willingness and ability to have a job will have a job in the community. Not only a job but maybe a career, something they enjoy doing. My favorite part of the job with the supported employment program is seeing the smiles on their faces when they get that first paycheck or when they do a job that they actually enjoy doing and the sparkle in their eyes and they are just so happy. That really makes me feel good and I think that is the best part of this job.”

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