Road to Success Image

The Road to Success

The Rehabilitation Services Bureau

March 2006


Thomas Christy – An IVRS Success in Ottumwa

By Jan Davis

Thomas began working with IVRS when he was referred by his teacher at Ottumwa High School as a junior. He chose to participate in Career Connections, a special transition program partnership between the Ottumwa Community School District and IVRS. This program addresses the needs of the individual wanting to go to work after graduation, rather than going straight to college or other training, and Thomas wanted to go to work!

Thomas had to learn several soft skills in order to be successful in the work setting, as he had never had a job. He needed to learn how to dress, how to speak, and how to respond in the business community.

Thomas was hired by Wal-Mart as they recognized his potential a valuable, hard working and industrious employee. The program provided a job coach to help Thomas learn the skills to be successful, and his IVRS counselor helped him with counseling and guidance and frequent visits to establish new personal habits that help him be successful in the work environment.

Thomas is very pleased with the changes that he has made and feels very positive about his position. His feelings regarding his IVRS experience can best be summed up from a comment he made on his Consumer Satisfaction Survey, which stated, “Vocational Rehabilitation has done much more than I could dream. This is a good program and I hope it keeps going.”


Picture of Thomas Christy at Work

Thomas Christy at Work



The Great Scavenger Placement Hunt in Burlington

By Ruth Allison

The road to success was well traveled this week as the staff at the Burlington office set out on a day’s journey. The journey, otherwise referred to as “The Great Race” consisted of a variety of employment provoking activities throughout an 8 hour time frame. The staff was divided into teams and given a number of tasks to choose from. Each task was assigned a point value (1-4 pts.) based on the element of difficulty. The tasks or “detours” consisted of unique activities such as: Gather an application from a business that has Mississippi in its name, Research the future prognosis of food service positions in Burlington, Find out contact information regarding a new business in the area, and set up a business tour.

In addition to the interactive menu of tasks, teams were required to design a resume and write a letter of introduction explaining the benefits of IVRS to an employer. Later, these projects were judged by colleagues and winners were announced. Congratulations to Susie Geren for the best resume and to Tabitha Schueler for the best letter of introduction.

At the end of our day we were able to share many successful outcomes resulting from the challenging tasks. Prizes were awarded to the team that earned the most points and to other individuals that displayed admirable qualities throughout the experience. Once our journey was over it was evident that our hard work and team efforts paid off. The accomplishments of the day included the following list and much more!

The “Great Race” was the first scheduled group Employer Development activity in the Burlington Office. Everyone in the office participated including counselors, support staff and supervisor. Future Employer Development days are scheduled throughout the year and each will have a different theme and location.