Gabe's Story

Community Employment Opens New Horizons 

In the nine months Gabe has been employed by Pizza Hut, he has earned the Most Valuable Player award for his job performance, twice.  His Community Employment Manager Louis Moses found Gabe his job after noticing his skills when he came to work at SRVS Industries in August of 2011.  “Gabe is very people oriented, likes repetition and can multi-task,” said Moses.  He was the perfect candidate for a job opening at Pizza Hut, a company that actively employs people with disabilities.  

Moses assessed Gabe’s abilities and matched them to the job.  He accompanied Gabe throughout his orientation and training and introduced Gabe to his manager Cherish Mathis.  “Gabe is definitely an asset to the company.  He is passionate about his work and energetic,” says Mathis. “I don’t know why anyone would not hire a person with a disability.  They are the most timely, enthusiastic employees and they love to work.  They don’t have to work, they want to work.”

“I don’t know why anyone would not hire a person with a disability.”

In addition to having a job, Gabe lives in a SRVS home and receives assistance from a DSP.  Having a job and a roommate opened up new worlds of engagement for him and his family.  “SRVS gave Gabe the supports he needed that we could not give him at home including the intangible gift of building relationships and friendships in the community which enrich his life,” says Laura Tumminello, Gabe’s mother.  “SRVS saved his life and gave me fellowship with other family members going through similar challenges.” 

SRVS Community Employment Services Program provides job assessment, placement and follow-along services to individuals who desire work in the community.  During the fiscal year, 16  job seekers were employed.  SRVS Industries partnered with 36 companies to employ 110 people supported at the workshop (see the Business Recognition section).  SRVS entered into negotiations with DIDD to participate in the national Employment First Initiative. Community Employment Services Director Donna Palmer and SRVS Industries Director Troy Allen served on various state employment committees, partnered with Vanderbilt University’s Tennessee Works Partnerships, developed an experiential work site at Delta Medical Center, and coordinated a Disability Mentoring Day with Memphis City Schools.  Palmer won the Arc of the Mid-South’s Professional Achievement Award and SRVS became a member of the State of Tennessee Employment Consortium.   

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