A Future for Employment

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eaningful employment. What does it entail? Purpose, value, establishing a place in the world, and transitioning from a role of consumer to contributor. Many of the individuals served at Tierra are incredibly skilled and full of endless possibilities; they deserve the opportunity to obtain meaningful employment. With Tierra’s support, 111 adults have paid jobs at local companies, and an additional 80 artists are self-employed. When looked at as a whole, 35% of the working-age people Tierra serves are employed. It’s a phenomenal accomplishment, and a concept that supports Tierra’s endeavor to continually empower people with developmental disabilities to achieve excellence.

On April 6th, Tierra held its third Annual Employment Recognition Reception at Valley Presbyterian Hospital (VPH). Attended by employment partners, clients, staff, and board members, the evening was filled with gratitude and inspiration.

Hospital Foundation President and Senior Vice President of Community Relations, Pegi Matsuda, kicked off the evening’s program with a powerful and positive message about the VPH/Tierra partnership. With six Tierra interns, and four paid employees from Tierra’s Workforce Development Program, Pegi explained, “We see our partnership as a two-way street. When you hire a Tierra graduate, you get more than a well trained person. You get a dedicated employee who wants to work and has the skills to perform at the level you

need. You’ll diversify your current workforce, and, you’ll be seen as a business and industry champion of hiring an underrepresented group of employees.”

The award recipients of the evening included longtime partners, First United Methodist Church of Reseda, Lowe’s, and one of Tierra’s newest partners, The Discovery Cube of Los Angeles. Chris Horan, Store Manager for Lowe’s, Burbank, humbly remarked, “Lowe’s is a purpose driven company. It has been great to be associated with a company such as Tierra that wants to be part of something bigger.” Development Director of the Discovery Cube, Cathy McClure, adds, “We are proud and honored to partner with Tierra del Sol. We have gained so much in productivity, customer service, and value through their Workforce Development Program. This program is such a valuable resource and we are committed to our collaboration for years to come.”

At the close of the evening, Tierra clients, Eleonora Herrera (Precision Dynamics Corporation, A Brady Business) and Linda Anderson (The Los Angeles Daily News), were each recognized for serving their respective employers for 17 years. Tierra’s CEO, Rebecca Lienhard, said, “This is what you get when you hire Tierra clients. Dedicated employees who will give you everything they have to give. These ladies, their drive, and enthusiasm to work…this is what the future looks like. Thank you for being a part of our mission and for setting an example for other companies to follow.”

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