CHOICE Employment Services – established in 2012, CHOICE is a CARF Accredited agency that partners with individuals with disabilities to find and maintain competitive community employment. CHOICE supports hundreds of people each year with supported employment services.
Carrie Dahlquist became aware of the need for supported employment services in her community when her son Taylor, who was diagnosed with shaken baby syndrome as an infant, had difficulty securing employment as an adult.
Despite his intense desire to work and contribute to society like everyone else he knew, Taylor was having trouble obtaining and sustaining jobs. As any Mother would, Carrie helped Taylor land a job at Walmart, where he pushed carts, and a job coach helped him through the tougher tasks in his job. Taylor thrived at his job and soon was known and loved throughout Walmart for his upbeat and hearty personality.
Realizing that many individuals face problems like her son, Carrie, with the help of her husband Patrick and family, set out on a mission to create CHOICE Employment Services to help those with mental health disorders and physical and/or intellectual disabilities find jobs and help them maintain employment.
After 4 years of working at Walmart, Taylor achieved a major milestone by joining the family business, which he inspired, to become a job coach. Walmart was sad to see such a valued employee leave, but thrilled to see Taylor blossom. Right away, fellow CHOICE colleagues noticed Taylor’s compassionate and understanding nature. His stern but encouraging leadership style quickly earned him the respect of his co-workers. Carrie and Patrick were so impressed by Taylor’s accomplishments as a job coach that after only one year, Taylor earned the promotion to Field Trainer. Today, he trains new CHOICE job coaches and consumers in the workplace.
Since its opening in 2012, CHOICE has served more than 100 consumers.CHOICE continues to be recognized for its outstanding performance in assisting those with disabilities and is recognized as a leading supported employment provider in the Northeast Iowa region.