Updated: Jun 29, 2021
Spend just a few minutes with the Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) San Diego janitorial crew and it is easy to see that teamwork and a sense of humor keeps these guys doing an awesome job day after day. TMI is a nonprofit that provides services to clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Four years ago, TMI’s Associate Executive Director Jessie Campbell took a look at TMI’s janitorial services and thought, “our clients can do this work!”
Jessie approached our previous janitorial company to see if they would be interested in hiring our clients. He explained that it would be a win-win for them and our clients due to the many benefits of hiring individuals with developmental disabilities including:
The Department of Rehabilitation offers a training stipend to employers to off-set the cost of training our clients
Our clients are supported in the workplace by a professional TMI Job Coach to ensure success
Financial support is available for any specialty items required by our clients for employment such as tools or uniforms
Our clients are provided with transportation costs to ensure they are able to work
Our clients are eager and motivated to work
Improved overall employee morale
Non-binding agreement that can be terminated at any time
Employer tax incentives may be available, please click here for details
The janitorial company decided to pass on employing our clients. Still, Jessie felt confident our clients could do the work. He personally asked our janitor at the time, Roy Lopez, if he would have an interest in being a TMI Job Coach overseeing a janitorial crew. Jessie received a resounding “Yes!” from Roy. TMI immediately set out to secure the right TMI client team for the job!
David, Greg and Vince are with TMI’s Supported Employment program and have proven that they have what it takes to get the job done! The TMI SE program is designed to support, enhance and educate the general workforce population on the contributing value of people with developmental disabilities. Through personalized integration, training and advocacy, TMI helps to develop the capabilities and strengths of all people desiring to work. Our mission drives our work to ensure that all people have the right to attain dignity and self-respect in the employment sector.
“By hiring our clients we are practicing what we preach,” said Jessie. “Seeing the amazing work that they do, as well as their appreciation for their position is very rewarding to me.”
David had worked at the San Diego Zoo for 12 years and was ready for a change of pace. Vince was working at Game Stop and Greg was newly out of school. All three very different, but all equally committed to keeping San Diego’s office spick and span.
Being janitors isn’t without challenges, but the crew has worked out a system that works for everyone.
“I feel more confident and happy working at TMI,” said Vince. “I hope to keep working here and continue to develop my skills.”
That was also a sentiment echoed by Greg. As for David, while he enjoys working he is counting down the days until his retirement. A huge sports fan, David loves watching all sports and plays field hockey, softball, and soccer. He also enjoys skiing. Vince enjoys playing lacrosse, while Greg loves playing video games.
“This team is excelling,” said Roy. “They are happy and my overall well-being is better as a TMI Job Coach overseeing the team.”
We can always count on this team to be at work on time (early most days!), give their all and share a friendly hello. Great job to this wonderful group of individuals and thank you for all you do, as well as the smiles along the way!
Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) has been transforming the lives of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1981 and the deaf and hard of hearing since 2000. TMI strives to help our clients to realize their hopes and dreams by providing Employment Solutions, Community Living and Family Support Services throughout San Diego, Riverside and Imperial Counties. To stay connected with us follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Together we can share acceptance and awareness, ultimately contributing to further inclusion.