After receiving a certificate of completion from Delcastle High School in 2017, Tyler Dawson opted to enroll in the ServiceSource Delaware FrameWORK for Success program, a school-to-work transition service conducted in partnership with the New Castle County Vocational Technical School District.
Although seen by ServiceSource staff as polite, friendly and actively participating in on-going assessments at the outset, his attendance after a month began to foreshadow bumpy progress and the need for strong staff involvement. The major hurdles were a 45-minute special transit commute from Middletown to Wilmington and an inability to afford the daily fare. Showing up for the program became a “daily coin toss” and slipped to once a week in November.
Facing the reality of his situation, Tyler decided his better option was to land a job in Middletown. Taking the initiative, he arranged with a previous teacher to drive him to area employers to put in applications. His efforts paid off at Giant Food. Taking stock of his assets, Tyler also re-connected with SSDE staff. In the timeframe leading up to the interview, staff helped him prepare a resume and bolster interview skills. A day after the interview, he was hired as a Front of Store Associate. He set it up with his mom to provide transportation to and from work.
Corralling shopping carts, maintaining the neatness of entry and checkout areas and returning merchandise left at checkout are among his primary duties. Now entering his fourth month of employment and averaging roughly 30 hours a week, Tyler has dealt with harsh winter weather and pushing carts through ankle-deep water in the parking lot and is seen as a dependable employee by Giant management. Dave Santoni, Giant General Manager, sees Tyler as “having a great attitude.” While Front End Manager, Sandy Shehan, notes that he is “cheerful, quick to help a customer and ready to do everything asked of him.”
Even though employed, Tyler recognizes the value of maintaining his enrollment in the FrameWORK program. Now able to afford the transportation expense, he regularly participates on his off-days to work on soft skills development that will help him maintain employment and identify other interests that may lie beyond first-job horizons.