Landing your first job is an important milestone in life – the opportunity to gain experience, earn money and work towards independence. For a group of new employees at Veritext Legal Solutions, this first job is not only a beginning, but also a success story of hard work and perseverance.
These new hires are clients of the Independence360 (I360) adult services vocational training program, which provides opportunities for individuals seeking to learn employment skills as part of their transition to adult life.
Veritext, a national court reporting company located in Livingston NJ, connected with I360 when in search of team members for a major data storage project. Meg Weiss, I360’s Manager of Career Development, worked with Veritext human resources department to take candidates from the program through the hiring process and onto company employment.
“Veritext is committed to and passionate about hiring individuals of all diversities and seeks opportunities to support the neuro and physically diverse community.” says Samantha Quattrone, Veritext Director of People Operations. “Our partnership with I360 has allowed us to activate our strategy for identifying meaningful projects that align with the goals of I360.“
Tasked with executing the company’s move from paper documents to cloud storage, the six adults have taken on a painstaking project which requires not only technical proficiency but also the many “soft skills” necessary to participate in the workplace which they’ve learned and practiced at I360.
The vocational “Let’s Get to Work” program uses hands-on training in operating vinyl cutting machines, a heat press, 3D printers and other machinery located in their Whippany, NJ facility to teach lessons in the basics that all employees must master.
Meg is thrilled with how well their vocational trainees have adapted to the responsibilities and demands of the workplace. “Team work, time management, the importance of meeting deadlines. What they learn here makes them the valuable employees they are.”
Part of that success also comes from the partnership formed between Veritext and I360.
“Veritex has been a wonderful partner,” says Meg. “It’s been a welcoming and inclusive environment for our adults.”
Early on, the company held an all-hands lunch, so the staff and new hires could meet and become familiar with each other.
“It was huge for our folks who have social anxiety and who were at first shy about meeting new people,” Meg explains. “Having those interactions with coworkers, practicing small talk, asking questions – that’s all part of creating a team that can accomplish assigned goals. Veritext has been great.”
The employees from the I360 program are currently transferring confidential HR documents into digital formats. They’ve had to learn about privacy restrictions as well as how to navigate the company’s computer systems.
“Our six employees show up each day eager and excited for the tasks ahead,” says Samantha. “They are so intensely committed to completing the project that they are ahead of schedule, and we could not be more thrilled with their performance. We value their strong work ethic and their desire to learn and do more. Working with our employees from I360 has helped me to become a better manager in how I communicate and interact with my neurotypical employees.”
“I’m so proud of our adults,”concludes Meg. “They’re out in the workplace working side-by-side with their Veritext co-workers, taking ownership of their assignments and using all of the skills we’ve been practicing the last two years, even through the pandemic restrictions. It’s everything they’ve worked for and they are flourishing.”
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The future for vocational training at Independence360 is bright. Expanded computer instruction is something I360 hopes to add to its program in the near future, to take client skills to the next level and open up new and exciting avenues of employment. To learn more about the Independence360 adult services program, visit our website.