Candace Ochsenbein Headshot

Candace Ochsenbein

Position: Adult Job Coach of Special Projects

Hello everyone! My name is Candace Ochsenbein. If you’re wondering how to pronounce my last name, just always remember “Oceanbean”, it’s a little easier that way, or just call me Candace! I am an ex-army brat, who has dealt with a diversity of people in my lifetime. After my parents divorced, I moved from Anchorage, Alaska to Thomasville, Georgia. Talk about a culture shock! After I married, my husband and I moved to Jacksonville, Florida where I was an assistant office manager for an orthodontic practice for children and adults as well as those with disabilities. Eventually, we decided to relocate to Panama City Beach, FL so we could be closer to family and start our own. That’s where I began working for Sprint Nextel, Inc. I was initially hired as a Customer Service Representative but through hard work and determination to excel, I was promoted to multiple supervisory roles, the last being Business Consumer Care Supervisor. I trained, coached, evaluated, and supervised a diverse range of employees on how to meet and exceed all company-based metrics using SMART goals geared towards the desires and ambitions they aimed to achieve. I assisted in the interview and hiring process as well as aided employees with disabilities through onboarding, accommodations, onsite coaching, and training.

While at Sprint Nextel, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and eventually had to go onto Social Security Disability due to treatment no longer controlling my symptoms. Thankfully, that has changed, and I now have a treatment plan that has allowed me to reach remission and reenter the workplace. I am so excited about joining employU in the quest to help people with disabilities find employment and
make their way in this world. I recognize the challenges faced with job searches due to work gaps and disabilities having been in the same position myself. I have always been a caring person who has wanted to help other people succeed and aim to use my knowledge for the benefit of those with disabilities and to further the growth of the company.

In addition to facing Crohn’s Disease, my husband was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in his twenties and eventually developed paranoid schizophrenia in his early forties. It was difficult for him to function most days, and it was difficult for our family to see him struggle with his mental illness. Most of the time he refused to follow doctor’s advice, which led to additional issues. In January 2019, while my daughter, his mom, and I were out of town, he developed sudden pain in his upper right side which caused him to be hospitalized. He was suffering from severe paranoia at the time and checked himself out. A few hours after arriving home, he had a massive heart attack and died at the age of 53 alone. His mental illness and the pain we all suffered made me realize how much other people go through when dealing with disabilities. I am not telling you this story to feel sorry for me but to realize I do have extensive knowledge when it comes to mental illness and the effects it has on everyday life.

My husband and I were lucky enough to have one daughter, whose name is Hailey, and she is studying to become an Elementary Education major. I also have a stepdaughter named Kristina, who lives in Dallas, Texas. After the death of my husband, Hailey and I decided it was time for a change of atmosphere and moved to Gainesville in 2020 for a fresh start and for her to attend Santa Fe College. We absolutely fell in love with the community and what it has to offer. In addition, I have a couple pets, one who is a thirty year old
female blue and gold macaw named Toto. Once again, I really am extremely excited about this new journey in helping those with disabilities find jobs and joining the employU family!

employU is an approved vendor with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and we are happy to serve VR’s customers.
employU is a CARF accredited organization
employU is a Veteran Safe Place