VA Program Expansion Leads to More Job for Clients of The Center

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The Center is pleased to announce the placement of our clients in 36 new patient escort jobs at the Michael E. Debakey Veterans Affairs Center in Houston. The positions were made available through AbilityOne, a government program that ensures federal agencies give their patronage to workers with disabilities. While The Center has participated in the program for 25 years, this new addition more than triples the number of available patient escort jobs.

Itamar and David (second from left and center, respectively) are among The Center’s clients already thriving in their new roles. David has been a patient escort for almost 4 months, while Itamar will soon celebrate his first year anniversary at the VA.

“David has grown leaps and bounds…really opened up,” says Lionel Young, a patient escort supervisor. “He’s turning into a great escort.”

Itamar has become a very strong patient escort and a favorite among patients. Friendly and empathetic, he’s often requested by regulars. Young commends the work ethic of both young men and has come to confidently trust them with more independent tasks.

“Those two guys? That’s the kind of worker we’re looking for,” says Young. “They’re awesome. Just awesome.”

The expansion at the VA is consistent with a wider initiative by The Center to connect our clients with a variety of community-based employment options, giving them the chance to build professional skills while earning a competitive wage and benefits.