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Aviation Aspirations: Ryan’s Job Journey

September 21, 2020

CPRF’s End-Dependence Kansas Project has obtained successful outcomes with youth referred to the project. One such success story is presented in the following paragraphs.

Ryan was an 18-year-old male diagnosed with autism and a learning disability when he was initially referred to CPRF’s EDK Program by his high school Transition Specialist. He was a senior at Heights High School and expected to graduate in May 2020. Ryan had previous experience in food service and custodial work and had interned  in the parts department at Textron one summer.

At intake, Ryan demonstrated a strong vocational interest in aviation manufacturing, and also wanted to attend college and become a quality assurance inspector or engineer in the aircraft industry. Ryan was highly motivated to achieve his vocational goals, participating in the EDK program at a very challenging time due to the coronavirus pandemic. Very few employers were allowing the program to conduct job tours, which was especially difficult for Ryan since most of the program’s manufacturing employers were not able to participate in the EDK program at this time. CPRF EDK Employment Consultant Dave Lavin was able to get one job tour with Center Industries Corporation, but this employer was downsizing and furloughing employees so there was no opportunity for employment at this company.

Dave worked with Ryan to develop his resume and job search skills since VTPE low-dose activities were difficult to schedule. With the unfavorable economic conditions to the aircraft industry, Dave and Ryan searched for employment in a related field. Dave worked with Ryan to submit several job applications on Indeed. One company, dnata, offered Ryan an interview, Dave worked with him on his interview skills and conducted a few practice interviews to prepare Ryan. Ryan interviewed with dnata on June 3, 2020 and did so well that the company extended him a job offer.

Ryan was hired directly by dnata on June 8, 2020 to work as a Ramp Agent at the Eisenhower Airport. He earns $12.00 per hour for approximately 20 hours a week on a morning shift from 4:45 AM to 7:30 AM or an evening shift from 6:45 PM to 9:15 PM. On several occasions, he has worked both shifts in one day. This job is a perfect match for Ryan because it still allows him to attend classes during the day at Wichita State University. Ryan’s job as a ramp agent started with handling baggage for arriving and departing aircraft. His performance and attendance was flawless, and he was trained to marshal incoming and outgoing aircraft. On September 6, 2020, Ryan achieved a successful employment outcome and he has since been promoted to Head Marshal. Ryan was a very ambitious client and highly motivated. He is hoping that this employment will give him good work experience and connections as he pursues his vocational goals in aviation.

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About End-Dependence Kansas

End-Dependence Kansas is funded through Title I – Vocational Rehabilitation of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act). Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Education (CFDA 84.126A).  A total of 78.7% of the project funds are federal dollars referenced above. There are no non-government sources of funds.

This program is provided by the Kansas Department for Children and Families.