Empathy in Action


Whites IGA Baringa Supports STEPS Work Mates Program Through Employment Action

When Illona joined STEPS’ NDIS program Work Mates, she had her heart set on gaining paid employment.

Under the guidance of her Job Readiness Trainer Carla Elliott, Illona studied and received her Supervisor Food Safety certificate and her Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate.

Illona’s goal was finding work in a supermarket. After door knocking and dropping in resumes across the Coast for several months, Illona got the opportunity to interview with the manager at Whites IGA Baringa, who offered her work experience. Illona had previously worked at Coles on the Gold Coast for ten years before relocating to the Sunshine Coast, so she came with some experience.

After her work experience finished, IGA offered Illona casual paid shifts. As a dedicated long-term supporter of STEPS, IGA continues to encourage and support people with disabilities and is in the process of hiring another one of STEPS’ Work Mates participants. Managers and staff at Whites IGA have included Illona as part of the team from day one. Without their continued support STEPS could not provide invaluable work experience opportunities for these participants.

Illona’s trainer Carla says Illona is very keen and dedicated to her job. The management and staff were immediately impressed with her cheerfulness and can-do attitude with every task she was given. Illona’s success goes to show she just needed an opportunity to showcase her skills and commitment. When asked how she feels about working at IGA, Illona expresses a sense of pride and happiness says Whites IGA ‘is the best place’ she’s ever worked at.

Find out how STEPS can help support you into employment today by visiting STEPS Workmates.

STEPS Work Mates participant Illona working at Whites IGA Baringa.
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