The Dialogue with Greg Householder

This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So here we go with our 78th installment visiting with Greg Householder, job developer for The Access Program (200 E. Broadway Ave, Suite 45, Maryville, TN 37804, 865. 256.9228) which finds jobs for people with disabilities.
 
Describe what TAP does. The Access Program provides job services for individuals who may have barriers to conventional employment. Many times these barriers include some type of disability. The Access Program provides several services to our clients including integrated work site assessments at an actual real world business where we can evaluate just what our clients can and cannot do, their endurance levels and what skills they possess that helps us find them jobs that are a good fit for them and the employer. We also conduct job readiness training where we work with our clients to teach them how to write resume's, fill out job applications, participate in a job interview, etc. Finally, perhaps our most important service is that we hunt for and hopefully are successful in placing our clients in a job that is mutually beneficial to them and their employer. We also provide job coaching services when our clients are newly hired to insure the chances for their success.
 
What background do your clients have? The Access Program employees come from a variety of backgrounds. Some have extensive experience with working with individuals with disabilities. Some have experience in vocational rehabilitation. Others have experience in community relations and sales. All of these varied experiences come together to find work for our clients.
 
Describe your customers. Our clients are individuals with disabilities who are referred to us from the Maryville Vocational Rehabilitation Center. Our clients come from mostly Blount County but we are also expanding into Anderson and Monroe counties. Our customers (consumers of our "product")are companies large and small who hire our clients.
 

What impacts the business environment you work in?Our business environment is impacted by social, economic, legal and political environments in a significant way. We serve as contractors for the state and are dependent on both federal and state dollars. Socially we are impacted by how society views individuals with disabilities. Legally we are guided by various laws and regulations that affect individuals with disabilities and their civil rights. We, like any business involving personnel staffing, are at the mercy of economic conditions - if the business community is contracting and laying off workers they are not hiring our clients.

 
What do you enjoy about working with TAP? Working for The Access Program provides our team members many rewards. First there is good feeling of working as a team towards a common goal - job developers find the jobs and employment specialists identifies the skills of our clients and together we match the client with the employer. Second there is the joy in helping someone who wants to work go to work.
 
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