Job coach helps the disabled find employment - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Job coach helps the disabled find employment

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The next time you visit SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo or Qualcomm, you may notice some special people with special jobs.

For the past 30-years, a non-profit group called Partnerships with Industry has placed thousands of developmentally disabled workers with employees.

Climbing the corporate ladder is challenging for anyone, which is why 46-year-old Serena Prins focuses on her abilities, not her disabilities.

Serena started working at Petco 16-years ago thanks to her job coach Carol Atherton.

Carol works for Partnerships with Industry, a non-profit group that has helped more than 12,000 developmentally disabled San Diegans find work.

Taking care of animals takes a special blend of hard work and empathy.

Petco store manager Jeff Neklason said Serena is one of the best employees.

Serena admits one of her challenges is setting boundaries with the animals, and learning how to care without caring too much.

Spend an afternoon with Serena and she starts making the extraordinary look ordinary.

Serena realized years ago she can't live free as a bird, which is why she loves to make friends and money at Petco.

Partnerships with Industry has helped many businesses cut down on high turnover.

Legoland and Hoehn Motors are among several businesses to hire employees who stayed with the companies for 15 years or longer.

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