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Our Stories - Project Search Job Club Co-Founder and Mentors

Photo of Joanne Bellinger and Chauncey Buford

Joanne Bellinger, Inventory Management Specialist, Materials Management Department, Clinical Center, NIH

Chauncey Buford, Laundry Manager, Materials Management Department, Clinical Center, NIH

What is your role at NIH?

Joanne: I work in the Clinical Center in the Material Management Department as an Inventory Management Specialist. The Material & Management Department is responsible for the ordering, loading, and delivery of hospital–related inventory items. We deliver everything from hospital beds, health care supplies to large pieces of equipment throughout the Clinical Center.

Chauncey: I am the Manager of the Laundry Dept. and Supply Room for the NIH Clinical Center and Assistant to the Chief of the Materials Management Department & Supply.

How did you get involved with Project Search?

Joanne: Project Search is a school-to-work non-paid internship program for individuals with intellectual disabilities aged 18-22years old. Two Project Search Interns were assigned to my department in the Fall, 2010. I personally supervised a Project Search intern for the 30 week internship program. I took on the role to train the intern in the varied tasks associated with my department. At the culmination of the internship program, I hired the intern.

Chauncey: I have experience in training and developing employees and was asked to consider training a Project Search intern. In addition to training, my supervisor thought that I could mentor this intern as well. Throughout the internship, I worked closely with the assigned intern to promote the growth of his job skills as well as independent living skills. He proved to be a highly qualified worker leading to a job offer at the end of the rotation program.

I am most proud that The Project Search initiative and the Job Club was a recipient of the NIH Director’s award in 2011 for the successful school-to-work transition of these young men and women.

How did you get involved with Job Club? What is your role?

Joanne: Through my experience with the Project Search interns, I was inspired to move further and extend the support to other Project Search interns. I along with Chauncey mentor these new NIH employees in job and life skills so they can become very successful and productive employees in the Clinical Center. It is the intention of the Job Club that it provides a community wherein the interns help each other in employee related areas, share ideas for handling interpersonal issues and exchange information about their own career growth.

Chauncey: Through my experience with a Project Search intern, I wondered if other Project Search interns faced similar questions as they moved from being an intern to employee. I wanted to give each Project Search student the same opportunity to be independent by creating their own action plan for success. This led to the creation of the Job Club. The Job Club provides a support program for former Project Search interns to develop successful job performance, successful workplace conduct, and independent living skills. It is an opportunity for the former interns to connect their work experiences with their peers and problem solve work- related issues.

This page last reviewed on November 24, 2015

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