It is with a heavy heart that we announce changes to UCP Oregon’s Supported Employment Department (“Employment Solutions”).
Employment Solutions supports adults who experience disabilities to find and keep fulfilling jobs in the community. As you might imagine, COVID-19 has had a huge effect on this department.
In March of 2020, most of the department’s employed customers lost their jobs due to COVID-19 restrictions, with very few able to be rehired in a contracting economy.
Over the intervening months, we have attempted to keep the department as whole as possible. We applied for (and received) COVID-19 relief grants. But three layoffs were necessary in July, and we are now forced to restructure again.
Department changes include:
These changes will have a tremendous impact on UCP Oregon’s community. We are saying goodbye to some of our best and brightest, including our Employment Solutions Director, Melissa Miller. Read more about Melissa, and her contributions, here.
Affected customers and employees have been informed, but if you have questions or need support, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
As many of you know, UCP has been forced to implement layoffs in our Supported Employment Department.
One of the biggest changes was that the department’s Director, Melissa Miller, was laid off. We’d like to take a moment to celebrate and honor Melissa’s achievements at UCP.
Melissa started at UCP more than 17 years ago. She applied to be a “Roommate” (a live-in caregiver), hoping to get a job and a place to live. As she says, though, she ended up finding “a family, a community and a mission.”
That mission? As Melissa says, it’s to “PUSH THE ENVELOPE and NEVER STOP PUSHING for those who need support.”
Over the years, Melissa worked in many of UCP’s departments, supporting and interacting with hundreds of customers and employees. She met her husband at UCP, and started her own family. Meanwhile, Melissa was creating a new department, Employment Solutions, and serving as a statewide advocate and voice.
As UCP’s Executive Director, Ann Coffey says, “Melissa is bold, fearless, opinionated, hard-working, and full of gusto. She moves mountains. And she will continue to push the envelope for equity and justice, wherever she may roam.”
Melissa’s right-hand woman, Nicole Vivanco, will step into a new role as manager of the Employment Solutions team.
Learn more about recent changes to Employment Solutions here.
As you probably know, people with intellectual/developmental disabilities can get the COVID-19 vaccine now.
So, too, can their families and Support Workers (PSW's and DSP's).
And the vaccine is available in Oregon now!
But you may have some questions about the vaccine. That's why we created a new COVID-19 Vaccine info page.
On the page, we're sharing great resources created by a coalition of Oregon partners.
Check it out now!
Happy New Year!
We wanted to take a moment to acknowledge all the amazing helpers who helped us pull off UCP's first-ever Drive-Thru Toy Giveaway.
First of all, thanks to UCP's Family Support Director, Katherine Ball, for creating and running the event!
Also, thanks to Sarah Noack, Director of UCP Connections (UCP's Brokerage); Jeni Davis, a UCP Board Member and owner of New Horizons; and Martha Terry, an awesome UCP employee. All of them volunteered to help us make this a great event for our families. Thank you!