Ben Doan grew up learning the value of hard work on his family’s bee farm. His drive and dedication to do good work spilled over into his search for a job outside of his beekeeping duties. After recruiting the help of an Employment Specialist from Job Path, Ben successfully started a new job as a dishwasher at Mission BBQ in Henrietta.
Ally Levy, an Employment Specialist at Job Path, will be the first to sing Ben’s praises. She’s had the pleasure of working alongside Ben since the beginning of his time with Job Path. From the first day they talked about what he wanted to do, his skills set, and where he was comfortable commuting to, she knew he would be successful.
After finalizing a resume, working on interview skills, and applying to jobs that interested Ben, Ally supported him in pursuing a dishwasher position at a new restaurant in Henrietta: Mission BBQ. She recalls the interview being in a trailer that was parked outside of where the restaurant was being built because they hadn’t opened yet. The location didn’t matter, however, because upon meeting with the regional manager, Ben clicked with the team and knew he didn’t need to continue his job search. He found where he wanted to work and has been on staff since the restaurant opened in the Fall of 2021.
Ben is one of the hardest working staff, according to Brendan Mannion, General Manager at Mission BBQ. “He constantly goes above and beyond his expected job duties, sometimes doing a little too much,” Brendan said. Because of this work ethic, Ben became a clear choice for the Employee of the Month award.
“Getting the award felt pretty good,” Ben said. “I just felt like I wanted to keep on working and better myself and help other people, to come here and show up on time. I’m always like 15 or 20 minutes early. I think it really means a lot to everybody.”
Ben’s primary role is washing all of the dishes during his shift at the restaurant. “At first, it was kind of hard because I wasn’t used to it,” Ben said. “Before this, I used to help my parents on the family bee farm. Job Path helps me recognize how I want to commit myself every day, not just in my job, but in other things in my life.”
To some, driving from Brockport to Henrietta would not be the ideal commute for a job, especially one that requires washing other people’s dishes. But Ben shows that steadfast commitment and a good attitude go a long way. It’s allowed him to show his coworkers, supervisors, and customers that every person on the team has a valuable role and that his disability does not limit the great work he’s able to do.
“Mission BBQ has been extremely supportive with him having a job coach and having a disability,” Ally said. “Everyone is wonderful.”
Having the support of Job Path staff has helped Ben thrive in his new role and achieve the goal he had of working somewhere outside of his family farm. This support, in conjunction with his driven personality, landed him on the plaque that lists all of Mission BBQ’s Employees of Month.
“It’s huge having someone I support be recognized for something like Employee of the Month. He deserves it,” Ally said. “When they told me he was getting the award, I was definitely more excited than he even was, just because I know he deserves it. He’s willing to do whatever he needs to do, which is really valuable as an employee, especially in the food industry where turnover is pretty high, especially with dishwashing. It means a lot.”
In addition to Ben, Job Path supports dozens of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) every year as they seek employment in the community. Employment Specialists help job seekers with resume building, interview prep skills, and basic work skills. They are there for the people they support from start to finish. The Arc of Monroe is incredibly grateful to the businesses across Monroe County that allow Employment Specialists to accompany the people they support on the job when needed and for seeing the value in creating a diverse workforce.
“It’s huge that businesses are accepting of hiring people with IDD,” Ally said. “It means a lot because these people deserve a job just as much as anyone else. It always warms my heart, and I can relax my shoulders a little bit when employers are ok with me as a job coach coming along for interviews. It feels good when they get it.”
To learn more about Job Path, visit www.ArcMonroe.org/JobPathRochester. To find out more about disability employment statistics and how to partner with The Arc of Monroe in hiring people with IDD, visit www.ArcMonroe.org/Advocacy.
We hope this blog is helpful to you! Our Job Path team at The Arc of Monroe is a wealth of information. Our staff is made up of experienced professionals who support people with disabilities. To learn more about who they are, visit our Job Path page. If you’re interested in working with us at The Arc of Monroe, visit our careers page. If you’d like to give and help make valuable resources like Job Path possible for people in your community, you can give online.