After 25 years, Rose Palmer was ready for a change.
Rose worked for her provider, Cornerstone Associates, in the janitorial crew for many years.
Lynn Wiles, manager of business relations with Cornerstone Associates, started job development with Rose in early 2019. Rose wanted a job where she could stay active and was interested in working with older adults.
In May 2019, Rose was hired as a kitchen utility worker for Brookdale Senior Living in Albany. She works 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“Rose was one of the best workers on the janitorial crew at Cornerstone,” Lynn said. “We knew she could succeed in community employment with the right job fit.”
Rose is the morning dishwasher at Brookdale. She also serves coffee and dessert to the residents in mid-morning. She loves interacting with the residents.
“I love the people,” Rose said. “They are all really nice people.”
TJ Strickland is the Dining Services Coordinator and Rose’s supervisor. He said Rose’s attitude helps to bolster the entire team.
“She brings a lot of positive energy and fun to work,” TJ said. “When she isn’t here on the weekend, the residents all tell us they miss her.”
During lunchtime, Rose goes out and interacts with the residents at Brookdale, pouring coffee and having conversations. One of her favorite residents, Jean Peterman, stops over to chat.
“I love Jean,” Rose said, smiling broadly. “She is a nice lady.”
Rose said she prefers her community job to the janitorial crew. She likes her paycheck, and the variety of duties.
“I pour coffee when they want it,” Rose said. “I just like it here better.”
TJ said he appreciates Rose’s work ethic. He said it is hard in the current economy to find reliable employees.
“I schedule interviews and people don’t even show up for the interviews or call,” he said. “Rose brings a good, positive attitude. Having her here makes a difference.”
Rose said she saves most of her paychecks. In the spring, she is planning a trip to Disneyland.
“I like putting my checks in the bank because it’s much safer than spending it on bling,” she said.
“I like this job. It’s quiet. The people are nice. And my boss (TJ) is the nicest boss because he works hard.”
Rose’s employment team includes: Services Coordinator Sheree Speaks with Linn County Developmental Disabilities Program; Lynn Wiles, Manager of Business Relations with Cornerstone Associates was the job developer and Dan Kelley with Cornerstone provided initial job coaching.
View a photo slideshow of Rose at work.