Cathy Lee Irizarry-Barron, Customized Employment Specialist

I am a Customized Employment Grant Specialist at Daily Companions, Inc.  I earned my Certified Employment Specialist Profession Certificate from APSE in June 2016.  I have over 30 years of experience in the Human Services and Science field.  After receiving a Treatment Nursing Certification from Grand Rapids Job Corp Center in 1985, I worked at the MJ Clark Memorial Veterans Facility.  In 1994 I received my degree in Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counseling; this allowed me to work for individuals in recovery, their families, and especially with their children, igniting a passion for helping others see their potential and strength to overcome adversity.  I also worked for several years as a Retention Specialist, helping retain consumers in their current positions.  Moving to WV I worked for 10 years as a Habilitation Specialist with Mid Valley/Northwood Healthcare Systems, helping individuals with I/DD and Traumatic Brain Injuries in Day Habilitation, Residential, Supported Employment and Crisis Unit settings.  Moving to Martinsburg in 2013, I worked with at-risk youth in Berkeley County prior to coming to DCI.

By assisting consumers to find employment through the Customized Employment Grant program, your loved one becomes part of the community where they live, attend events, and have friends.  DCI believes everyone has a right to work, regardless of disability.  It is my job to pull out their hidden talents and discover where they may be best utilized.  My goal is to assist participants in the Grant Program to find employment doing what they choose and succeed through ongoing natural supports.

I also encourage Self-Advocacy in the program – being able to express their need in the community and work environment without fear of discrimination.   Communication is essential to be successful.  Through conversation, listening to one another, and being able to problem solve, we will assist your loved one to find their way in the “Employment” world.

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