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COOS BAY — Directors for The Devereux Center and Bay Area Enterprises recently met to discuss potential referrals of qualified individuals to be placed for employment from the Devereaux Center over to BAE.

In a joint effort to help the disabled and homeless population in Coos County the two talked about job placement for individuals at the center who are having difficulties finding employment from a multitude of factors, including their disabled status.

Tara Johnson, the director of The Devereux Center, said she is in the process of going through their client list to see which individuals would meet the criteria for employment with BAE. As of now, she believes she has about five people who would make a good fit.

According to Johnson, finding housing and employment go hand in hand and the two rely deeply on one another in order to succeed. Since October 2016, she said the Devereaux Center has seen more than 1,800 unique individuals, each with their own specialized needs and levels of service.

“We try to look at each person as an individual and figure out what their plan is,” said Johnson. “The more people we can have helping with case management the more successful the individual will be.”

Bay Area Enterprises is a non-profit organization that assists individuals with disabilities in finding employment. The organization provides direct employment for such individuals along with job coaching and development services.

Drew Farmer, the BAE’s director, said one of the organization’s major strengths lie on its ability to retain employees. According to Farmer, about 48 percent of its staff has worked with the agency for over two years and even has one employee who has been there for over 20 years.

“We are able to maintain our employees for pretty long periods of time in spite of emergency symptoms or complications with their disability,” said Farmer. “Whereas another employee might find that person is just having too many difficulties to be financially viable for its company we exist to make it continue to work.”

The organization employs trained janitors through its janitorial services program in a wide range of businesses and state agencies throughout Coos County. Those providing proof of disability are able to apply for employment with the organization which can extend to veterans and those with workers’ compensation injuries.

The two will continue to work together on narrowing down possible candidates and filling those positions appropriately. 

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