Megan is a participant in YAP’s PA Developmental Disabilities Program. Her goal is to live independently and support herself with a job in food service. Our readers first met Megan in a previous article by Lori Burris, YAP’s Coordinator of Developmental Disabilities Programs.
YAP Employment Specialist Heather Hoover expected serious competition when she helped Megan file an on-line job application to Hershey Chocolate World in Hershey, PA. Job seekers and tourists alike flock to Hershey, a town that is often called the “sweetest place on earth.”
“We found the Chocolate World opening on the last day that they were accepting applications,” Heather recalled. “I didn’t want Megan to be disappointed but she’s passionate about working in food service and she has amazing determination.”
Heather and Megan later learned later that approximately 2,000 people had submitted applications. “Megan wanted to interview all on her own and she did. She was one of about 250 called for interviews and she was one of the 30 people they hired,” Heather said.
Like other employees, Megan received orientation and training on relevant topics including food safety. When she felt she needed training beyond the 5-day standard, she was given an extra 3 days. She was paired with a “buddy” throughout her training and continues to receive regular job support from supervisors and co-workers.
Megan’s work in the Food Court began with the Pizza Station. She and other employees interchange stations as needed. “It’s a really team-oriented workplace and Megan is proud to be part of it,” Heather said.
Like any retail employee, Megan must occasionally deal with problems such as those that sometimes come up with credit cards. “We had one fiasco where it looked like a credit card was charged three times when it wasn’t,” Heather said. “Megan learns from situations like that and everyone helps her solve problems. I’m there standing back just in case I’m needed but their managers are great.”
Chocolate World’s applicant-friendly website describes “Sweet Perks” offered to employees, but Heather believes that the company’s mission statement is most important for employees like Megan.
“Their mission statement--“We create extraordinary impressions through our people”—is short and sweet but they really live it,” Heather said. “Megan has really blossomed.”