Twin brothers share career success with URS program

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and United rehabilitation services highlights the success of two brothers.

For 23-year-old twins Kyle and Kalib Strines, it’s been a journey. They faced many challenges living with autism, but it never stopped them; the two brothers managed to find employment thanks to the programs offered by the URS.

“I’ve worked alongside them the entire time I’m here in the hospital for the past six years, and to walk side by side with them you can’t help but have a positive attitude and to want to deliver 100% every day, the way they do, ”said Jessica Pettit, director of volunteer and auxiliary services at Springfield Regional Medical Center and liaison for Project SEARCH. “We are able to bring in these very gifted students who find their way into the world and learn to be independent, and that goes hand in hand with all of our mission and core values. “

Kyle is a dishwasher in the kitchen at Springfield Regional Medical Center.

“I like being with a team, working in a group,” Kyle said. “My first job was cleaning. Before that, it was in the laundry department.

Kalib is an assembler at Rural King in Springfield.

“What I like is building things. It’s good to work with my hands, ”smiles Kalib.

According to URS Executive Director Dennis Grant, the Strines took part in the URS Employment Services Program in 2016, then participated in the summer career exploration program for young people.

“The program has helped me be a better example to others,” Kyle said.

“Through our work with people with disabilities over the years and through our training, we have learned a lot about what people with disabilities are able to do in the community,” said Jeremy Nelson, Director of Employment Services at the URS.

In 2018, the Strines enrolled in the Project SEARCH program and, after completing their training, a year later, they were both employed.

“They provide a lot of value in the workplace,” Nelson said. “We think it’s really cool that these employers are interested in hiring people with disabilities and doing something different than what they normally could have done. “

Grant said Kalib has come full circle, becoming a mentor for the other participants in the program.

“It was a bit difficult for me to teach them,” Kalib admitted. “But at the same time, it was also an honor and a responsibility.”

The honor and reward are even greater for those who have the opportunity to work alongside the brethren.

“During the pandemic, there was a staff shortage, and the partnership we had with United Rehabilitation Services through the SEARCH project and their ability to fill some vital positions that were not filled is of great help. . And their contribution to our culture is limitless. The things they support, be it their positive attitude, their incredibly strong work ethic, their determination to do well, to be well, and to make sure the rest of us are too, is something that you just can’t teach, ”Pettit said.

URS has been serving children and adults with disabilities in our region since 1956.

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