Jose Cervantez is a quiet man whose constant smile is a source of brightness to the residents of Brookdale Senior Living
Jose works 20 to 30 hours per week at Brookdale in Ontario, Ore.
Jose, 39, previously was in WITCO’s sheltered workshop for 12 years sewing flags. Jose transitioned into Employment Path services in 2015 to learn community job and socialization skills. Witco staff developed a job placement for Jose in 2015 at Brookdale Senior Living, where he now works five days per week as a custodian.
“I really enjoy myself here,” Jose said. “It’s a relaxing place. It gets me out more to socialize.”
Jose has a full range of duties, from cleaning windows and keeping the lobby presentable, to cleaning resident’s rooms. His favorite part of his job is interacting with the residents. His job coach, Serina Champagne, said because Jose is at Brookdale so many days, he is integrated into the fabric of the community.
“They love Jose here,” she said. “It’s a big part of their daily lives, seeing him and talking with him.”
Jose’s supervisor, Kit Jones, said finding dependable employees is difficult.
“Jose always has a smile and is eager to learn and do the task at hand,” Kit said. “He also takes corrections and makes sure to correct when needed. Not everyone takes that kind of feedback.”
Kit said it is important at a place like Brookdale to have kind, trustworthy employees like Jose.
“He is going into their home, so our residents must trust him and the work he is doing,” Kit said. “There is a relationship built there and not just anyone can do that.”
Jose’s employment team includes: Amber Shoemaker, job developer with WITCO; Serina Champagne, job coach with WITCO; Service Coordinator Andrea Wisnefsky; VR Counselor Rachellie George; and Jennifer Bonnell with Work Incentives Network provided benefits counseling.
slideshow of Jose at work.