Two years ago, Katie Smarr joined the staff at Kmart and began earning competitive wages doing a job she enjoys.
Katie provides customer service in the apparel department, helping to prepare clothing items for display and keeping the apparel departments tidy to maintain merchandise appeal.
“I like it,” Katie says. She enjoys the staff “morning rally” and the occasional staff picnic. She also enjoys her coworkers. One coworker in particular, Dave, likes to joke around with Katie. Katie also mentions coworkers Faye, Lois, Marilyn, and others as her friends.
Lois says Katie gets to work immediately when she arrives for her shift, and when she finishes one task, she is on to the next.
Katie participates in the Person/Family Directed Support Waiver (P/FDS) and receives employment support services. Ginny Pentz, community employment manager at the S. Wilson Pollock Center for Industrial Training, and job coach Kelly Lang, knew Katie would flourish in an integrated work environment. Katie received pre-vocational training at Pollock that included instruction and practice in efficient packaging and sorting.
“Katie really is such a joy to work with,” says Kelly. “It’s been so great working with someone who loves what they do and enjoys coming to work every single day. She is always receptive to advice and strives to do the best she can. Katie is an extremely reliable and dependable employee. I am proud to be Katie’s job coach because she displays such positive energy and a strong work ethic.”