Welcome to the web site of the Delaware Employment First Oversight Commission.

Chronic unemployment and underemployment of persons with disabilities have huge social costs. According to a June 2015 news release of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014 17.1 percent of persons with a disability were employed; in contrast, the employment-population ratio for those without a disability was 64.6 percent. (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/disabl.nr0.htm, retrieved August 10, 2015.) Shocking? Yes, shocking — and unnecessary.

Employment First is a philosophy and public policy in Delaware and many other states. Employment First means that competitive employment - the same kind of employment that most people have - should be the first choice for persons with disabilities. The Employment First Oversight Commission exists for the purpose of making that happen.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) is there to help providing services for the Job Seeker, Employers and Vendors. For more information please visit their site: http://dvr.delawareworks.com/index.php.

Nothing promotes success like real-life stories of success. And so we are delighted to use this welcome page of our web site to tell you about Delaware residents who - despite their challenges - are competing successfully in the job market.

Newest Success Stories

Jack Photo

My name is Jack and I work for Movies 10. I’ve been there since August, 2017. I like this job because the commute is easier for me than my previous job. It’s closer to home. I love my job and I am proud of my job. I have co-workers who are nice and I am good at my job. It was hard to leave my friends at my other job but I had help from my Employment Specialist, Andrew. My Employment Navigator was the best. I love getting free popcorn! I am saving my money. I volunteer at the Fire House when I am not working. I help keep the Fire Engines clean.

Tom Photo

My name is Tom and I have always loved plants. After high school, Tom got a job working for a local florist. However, he did not get to work with the plants as he planned. Even though he did not get to work with the plants, he stayed at that job for 15 years until his position was eventually eliminated. After his position was eliminated, he eventually became a consumer at St. John's. Working with the Employment navigator at St. John's, two years ago, Tom found his current position at Lowe’s Home Improvement in Wilmington. Now, Tom is a resident expert on hydration and plant care, and continues to take on new responsibilities. He makes great money too! Tom’s passion for plants has been an asset to his team and workplace. Judith, the HR Manager for the store recently said, “Tom is a huge part of our Lowe’s family and we are so proud of him.” According to Lowe’s inclusivity statement, 'inclusion means creating a place where everyone has the opportunity to grow and succeed.' We thank Lowe’s for their commitment to inclusion and for living out their corporate values – it is evident in Tom’s success.

Kendall Photo

My name is Kendall and I work at Camp Bow Wow. I earn a check to buy things which teaches me how to be independent with my finances. I enjoy working with animals and contributing to my community. My job was easy because my teachers at Project SEARCH found the job for me before I graduated. Project SEARCH helped me. I told the teachers that I wanted to work with animals and they found me the job at Camp Bow Wow in April, months before I graduated. I love working with the animals, all the different kinds of dogs. I like working with co- workers.

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My name is Justin and I work at Christiana Care in the Pharmacy. It was easy to find my job. I was in Project Search and I got a job offer to work there. I had help from Ms. Angie, my old teacher, and I had my fingers crossed! I like sorting meds. I sort the Wilmington bucket. My job coach is Jada and she helps me by checking in on me. She knows I’m independent so she comes less. Having a job makes me happy. I’m so happy to do it!

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My name is Juan and I work at Panera Bread in Dover. Juan’s work reputation preceded him as a former manager of his now works for Panera and as soon as he found out Juan had applied, he made it clear that he wanted Juan to work for him, stating that “he was the best employee he had ever worked with.” As a result, the hiring process was expedited and Juan was hired right away. "My job helps me be more independent and pay my bills." Juan is supported by St. John’s Community Services and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR).

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My name is Phillip and I work at Shoprite. Working makes me feel good and powerful. I work hard for my boss, Carly. I like my co-workers. They support me and they have my back. My job was easy to find because my mom works there. It’s been hard to find a new job, but I have help. I like my job because I like getting a paycheck. I’m saving up my money. I like the hard work that I do.

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My name is Aaron and I work at Greater Newark Boys and Girls Club in Reception. I am supported by the Division of Visually Impaired (DVI) and St. John’s Community Services.“My favorite part of my job is greeting the kids at the Club -- They call me Mr. Aaron and are so full life! I love my job, it is a dream come true. I have my life full now too.”

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My name is Rachel and I work at Christiana Care in the Human Resources Department. I like working with people. It makes me happy. I’m a shy person and working at Christiana Care has helped me feel more confident.Finding my job came easy because they were looking for somebody and I was looking for a job! I knew I liked the work. My teacher, Angie, helped me find my job. I like working because I like having things to do. I love my job! I am putting money aside for the future.

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My name is Natalie and I work at Season’s Pizza. My job is a good fit because I like working with food! Sometimes I can be nervous but I know I can talk to my co-workers. Finding a job was really hard but I had help. It was really, really hard! I’ve worked there for two years and on Sundays, I look forward to going to work.

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My name is Catherine and I work at the Newark Senior Center. The University of Delaware Career and Life Studies Certificate Program (CLSC)/St. John's Partnership developed an Internship that led to my paid job. St. John's Community Services supports me for work. My favorite thing about my job is being a part of the team.

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My name is John and I work at Acme. Finding a job wasn’t hard but it was tedious. Having an Employment Specialist helped me. Work is important for me because it gives me something to do plus I need money! I like not having to worry too much about money and being able to afford care for my cat. I like being able to donate money when I can and I volunteer with Premiere Charity one to two times a month. I like knowing people at work.

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My name is Bryan and I am a Porter/Courtesy Clerk at Giant in Middletown, DE. Having competitive employment has improved my life by giving me more to do, providing me with better opportunities and giving me something good to do with my time. Bryan stated it was not very difficult for him to find a job. He obtained his job after having his very first interview! He said he was so excited he literally jumped for joy. He says having Pathways to Employment helped him find a job a lot easier than he imagined. He obtained assistance from Pathways to Employment and Service Source. He identified his mother, Katrina Bradley, Yamma Hinton and Zandra Whitney as his primary supporters. Having daily face-to-face human interaction is his favorite thing about his job.

View more Success Stories!