Massachusetts Rehabilitation Consumer Provides Inspiration at Annual Hiring Event
BOSTON – Pauline Murray, of Middleborough, was the featured speaker at the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission’s (MRC) fourth annual federal Hiring Event this week. Pauline shared her inspirational story of adversity and triumph to a crowd of more than 200 employers, staff and job seekers with disabilities at the Westin Copley Hotel in the Back Bay area of Boston.
“Pauline represents one of hundreds of our job-ready consumers who are eager to be in the workforce,” said Joan Phillips, assistant commissioner of vocational rehabilitation, MRC. “Our Annual Hiring event has been life changing for more than three hundred qualified individuals with disabilities who were successfully employed as a result of this program. It is our pleasure to introduce you individuals who are ready, willing and able to work and we thank employers in the Commonwealth for their participation.”
Five years ago, Pauline came to the Taunton MRC Area Office hoping to rejoin the local workforce. She was paired up with an MRC Vocational Rehabilitation employment team and together they designed a plan to achieve her employment goal and that included training and skill building.
In March of 2015, she attended the federal hiring event co-sponsored by the MRC and U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program (OFCCP); interviewed with several employers, and was hired on the spot by Resources for Human Development (RHD).
Pauline “hit the ground running” at RHD and her efforts were quickly recognized. Two months after starting her full-time job, she was presented with an employee recognition award at RHD’s 20th anniversary celebration. She received two pay increases within her first year, was referred for additional training, and was made an Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators (or ACRE) Certified Job Placement and Development Specialist. RHD also invested in Pauline to attend a leadership development program which led her title change. Pauline currently services as RHD’s Cluster Case Manager of the In Home Supports program where she oversees two full-time employees and two part-time employees while covering a case of 17 individuals with in home supports.
“Before I worked with MRC, my self-doubt kept me incapable, I would always encourage others to take on leadership roles but never pursued them myself,” said Murray. “MRC allowed me, step-by-step, to accept my abilities and build on them. Today I work for an [agency] which empowers others and I get to give back and work on bridging the gap for other individuals with disabilities seeking their own independence. Please keep in mind we [MRC candidates] have abilities and are worth hiring.”
A strong partnership with employers
This year’s MRC and OFCCP Hiring Event included 40 employers which include 13 new and diverse employer partners. Nearly 200 vocational rehabilitation job ready candidate where matched with one or more of the 40 federal contractors participating. Consumers of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) vocational rehabilitation program also participated.
In 2015, about 240 consumers from MRC and MCB participated in the hiring event, and nearly 120 were hired. On average these candidates work 27.5 hours a week and earn wages from $9 to $35 per hour. The federal hiring event is promoted as a one-day event; however, the partnerships forged result in year round employment opportunities for candidates.
“We have taken advantage of several networking and recruitment opportunities through MRC, including setting up an office internship program through an [On-the-Job Evaluation] grant, which led to a permanent hire, attended a local diversity fair in Arlington Town Hall, MRC’s fall employer conference ‘Becoming a Leader in Change,’ and the annual hiring event,” said Jen Sateriale, RHD Office Manager and HR Coordinator. “But by far the greatest success story in working with the MRC was meeting Pauline at last year’s event. To the employers in the room… find your Pauline.”
The MRC provides comprehensive services to people with disabilities that maximize their quality of life and economic self-sufficiency in the community. To learn more visit, www.mass.gov/mrc.