Jan 16, 2024

Meet Tess: Job Coach Profile

If you were to ask Tess her favorite part of working at Deseret Industries, she would mention two things: 1) getting to help people, and 2) not having to sit at a desk all day. Tess is an operational supervisor who oversees the donation drive-thru at the DI location where she works, meaning that she spends a lot of time on her feet.

“This is my first job out of college,” Tess says. “I got my degree in social work, and I realized that I didn't want to be in-depth with that. This role was a good, happy medium.”

Tess discovered the job after a family member who was familiar with the DI job training program told her that she would make a great operational supervisor. Tess pursued the job and has now been in the position for two years.

“I get to help people plan out their next steps,” Tess says. “The majority of my team members are teenagers, and a lot of them are like, ‘I don't know what I want to do with my life.’ I tell them, ‘That’s okay, you came to the right place.’”

Every associate at DI goes through Ready for Work—a program that teaches workplace skills like professionalism, dependability, and teamwork. As part of the program, operational supervisors also help associates set goals that will prepare them for future employment opportunities.

“Goal setting can look different for everyone,” Tess says. “Some associates are teenagers who are in their first job, and some are adults who want to set goals for whatever path they’re on.”

Working at DI has been very rewarding for Tess. She loves seeing associates increase their confidence, improve their skills, and change their lives.

“I’m proud to tell people that I work at DI,” Tess says. “Not only does it change lives, but it also helps me build. Like associates, I set goals every week, and I follow up with my team and tell them how I am going to be better. DI helped me realize that you can always be improving no matter how old or young you are or where you are at in life, and I’m grateful for that.”

Thrift store supervisor smiles as she helps with a load of donations