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Face of Performance

  John O'Sullivan
June 2005
When John came to the JobLink Career Center in Wake County, he was ready to return to work. John was an educated and experienced Quality Assurance Engineer who had worked in the manufacturing and engineering industry for a number of years. Yet, like nearly 25% of Americans (as reported by the National Institute of Mental Health), John has a mental illness that has affected his ability to work for more than a year.

At The Supportive Employment Program, a JobLink one-stop partner, John got help from Eugene Bene, a Job Specialist who assists adults with mental illness in obtaining and maintaining competitive employment. John joined a vocational goal setting group where he created appropriate work goals and began to explore job opportunities in a variety of fields.

One day, John stopped by a local manufacturing company close to his home and learned of a Quality Manager opening. John interviewed for the position and subsequently was offered what he now calls his "dream job".

In the first months of his new position, John received ongoing job support from The Supportive Employment Program to help him deal with job stressors and to identify and resolve any issues that may impact his job performance. Today, John thrives in his new position and demonstrates the success possible for all individuals when given the appropriate supports and services, including people with mental illness.

Throughout his life, John has had to live with the impact of his disability as he worked to achieve an advanced education and tried to maintain his employability. John exemplifies the successes that a person with mental illness can achieve given the appropriate kinds of pre-employment assistance and post-placement job support from the one-stop system.
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