Hello, my name is Steven Warren, and I am the Employment Services Program Developer for employU. I first started working with the disability community in northern Ohio, where I was hired as a night shift supervisor for a private company called New Life that was hosting a training program through a partnership with a Walgreens distribution center. I was able to work with a crew of three other job coaches and approximately twenty people with developmental disabilities as we performed various roles around the warehouse each night.
It was also during this time that I held a second job providing job coaching for a state-run organization. Working for both organizations at the same time provided me with a unique opportunity to work with a more diverse population. As time progressed, I was able to leave my position job coaching at the warehouse, and I started to organize various job training partnerships with New Life. Some examples of our works included the creation of an auto detailing program with a family of used car dealerships and a partnership with a small family startup making duck decoys.
After several years of working with these organizations, I decided to take a hiatus to explore more career fields. I earned my CDL with hazmat and tanker endorsements, and I drove over the road carrying hazardous chemicals. It was also during this time that I gained experience working in the oil field, as well as earning various heavy machinery, welding, and crane operator certifications. I have found that my own diverse background has proven especially helpful when training others due to my ability to provide first-hand knowledge in a wide variety of industries.
When I learned about employU, I knew it was a passion that I wanted to return to. I relocated to Florida to return to my role as a job coach once again. In the beginning I lived in Deltona and would commute to work in the Winter Haven and Lakeland area every day. Eventually I became an Employment Specialist covering the Orlando and Sanford areas. As employU continued to grow, I accepted the position as a Program Developer allowing me to travel to new areas for us to establish ourselves and begin providing services to more of those in need. I have since then assisted with establishing the Jacksonville area, an exceptionally large North-Central Florida area, and now Tallahassee as we expand into the panhandle. I recently bought a home in Panama City, and I am excited to continue helping employU grow and continuing to serve those in need.