Like many young people, Bailie Gilmour has a lot of things she would rather do than work
Like train and play with her new puppy, for instance.
Bailie's parents, however, could sense their daughter was getting restless. She graduated from high school in 2008 and had been in day support activities since leaving transition services at age 20.
"She was bored," said LeeAnne Gilmour, Bailie's mother. "She would complain every day when she came home from the day program."
The Gilmours went to MV Advancements, a provider agency which recently expanded services into Marion County. Job developer Kenzie Bookey started working with Bailie and taking her out to community businesses to explore job options.
One day, LeeAnne suggested Kenzie pick Bailie up at her gym, Physiq Fitness in Salem, before touring community businesses. Bailie was going to the gym several times per week to participate in exercise classes.
"I did Zumba, circuit weights," Bailie said.
This is when the lightbulb went off for Kenzie.
"We had been going to these other businesses and Bailie told me, 'None of the people are as friendly as they are at Physiq,'" Kenzie said. "That’s when I decided to talk to Tyson."
Tyson Cox is the club manager at Physiq Fitness’s south Salem location. It turns out he also grew up in Jefferson, Ore., where the Gilmours have resided for generations.
"Everyone knows the Gilmours in Jefferson," Tyson said, smiling widely. "And everyone knows Bailie."
Bailie, now 28, was a former queen of the Jefferson Mint Festival. She is an integral part of her community.
Tyson and Kenzie discussed a job customized to fit Bailie’s skills and strengths that would unload work tasks that Tyson had been doing. He identified several large exercise classrooms and equipment that need regular cleaning.
"Bailie is getting tasks done that are important to the business and that need to get done," Tyson said.
Bailie has autism and an intellectual disability and does not read or write. Kenzie started job coaching Bailie in June 2018 by creating pictures of her schedules.
Now Bailie knows her job well enough she no longer needs the pictures. She also had learned how to sign herself into the computer when she starts work.
"Everybody is nice here," Bailie said. "I like that."
Bailie works two days per week. Her team has discussed expanding her hours, but Bailie isn’t sure she wants to be away from her new puppy.
"A new puppy is a lot of work," she said laughing.
She loves buying clothes with her paycheck from work. Otherwise, she tries to save her money – or at least, Bailie says she does.
"Her goal is to save up for a hot tub," her mother said. "But she hasn’t saved a lot yet because she does like her shopping!"
Her parents, Danny and LeeAnne Gilmour, are thrilled that Bailie has found a job that she likes. They said working has changed Bailie’s attitude and confidence.
"She is so proud of herself; the first thing she tells anyone is, ‘I have a job,’ LeeAnne Gilmour said.
"It has totally changed her. She has grown socially so much. When we are with friends, it is so evident the pride in what she is doing. She can’t wait to tell people about her job."
Bailie’s employment team includes: Job developer and job coach Kenzie Bookey with MV Advancements; Vocational Rehabilitation counselor Alex Rose, and Personal Agent Chelsea Melsha with Mentor Oregon.
View a photo slideshow of Bailie at work.