June 18, 2021
By: Pamela R. McDaniel
Work gives individuals a sense of purpose and self-worth. For many, it defines who we are, and how we fit into society. Work helps improve individual and family finances, and it helps us connect socially. All individuals, regardless of disability, deserve the opportunity to be full members of their community where they can live, learn, work and play at every stage of life their life.
We are so proud of the people we support! Our supported employment specialist serve to help individuals find and maintain gainful employment in the community to create more fulfilling lives for themselves.
Larry – A Natural Born Worker
Day one of working at Moon Dumpsters, Larry’s supervisor was so impressed with his work, that he contacted the head owner. Larry’s supervisor reported to the owner, that Larry not only did his job, but he took the initiative to complete other task without being told. The owner askes to speak with Larry, and gave him the highest compliment telling him, “Larry, I’ve heard nothing but good news about you. You are the best worker we have hired in a long time. Keep up the good work!” Having this job makes Larry feel more independent, and responsible. “I am working to build my finances, and put my life back together so that I can get a place of my own. I feel blessed to have a job”, Larry stated. Regardless of what his background looks like, Larry decides to seek help, and move forward to better himself, and become a productive member of society.
Austin – Gaining Confidence and Building Skills
Austin has been employed at his first job at Goodwill for two months. Austin is diagnosed with Autism and suffers from anxiety, especially in unfamiliar places. Supported employment orientation/training helped him to have a good start with his job assignments. Austin’s supervisor is pleased with him and his work. Recently, she stated, “Austin is wonderful and a pleasure to have. Everyone loves him and he keeps all of us laughing. He is phenomenal!" Austin enjoys his job and is happy that it is a great fit for him. Working has improved Austin’s ability to socialize with co-workers, and build relationships that he would not have otherwise had.
Lana – First Job to Independence
Stuffing from a traumatic brain injury, Lana was total hands on when she came to the supported employment program. She started her first job at Marshall’s about six months ago, requiring prompts, redirecting, and constant supervision. After working with the employment specialist, we are happy to report that Lana is completing her task without being told. She has taken on more job task at work, allowing her to realize how much she can learn and do on her own.
Supported employment is about helping people with significant disabilities enter or re-enter the labor force. Individuals who participate in our supported employment program are encouraged, equipped, and empowered in the gifts, and talents God has placed in them. We pride ourselves on seeing ability, and not disability!
August 15, 2019
10 Years and Counting!
By Alex Sholtz
Path Forward of KY was founded in January 2009 with the goal to provide effective and individualized services to people with disabilities. We began in Louisville with Supported Employment and then as the years passed we continued to add services and 3 new regions, Bowling Green, Elizabethtown and the Bluegrass. 10 years on, we now offer Case Management, Behavior Supports, Personal Care, Community Living Supports, Respite Services, Community Access, Acquired Brain Injury Services, Family Home Providers, Ticket to Work and an even more thriving Supported Employment Service, in three Regions.
This decade of work has grown our great team of staff and contractors that embody our mission, vision and values. With a leadership team boasting of more than 75 years of experience in Human Services, and having Brittany lead us on our journey, we look forward to building even greater services and Regions for the exceptional people that we serve. When you get right down to it, it’s all because of rock solid teamwork. After all, that’s the PFK Way!
January 23, 2019
In 2008, the face of the global economy changed forever. America was in the height of the 2008 Recession. Investment banks, the secondary credit market, and an unregulated financial market disappeared. The housing market collapsed. Central banks around the world propped up the financial system. In September of that year, America came very close to total economic collapse. New inventions still made a difference! 2008 saw a camera for the blind, electric cars, instant replay for baseball, No Country for Old Men won Critic’s Choice Best Film and Alex Sholtz and Jim Bratcher rolled up their sleeves and started the work to establish the very successful Path Forward of Kentucky!
The first service to be offered by PFK was Supported Employment. This service assists consumers in navigating the State’s Vocational Rehabilitation program and puts them on a path of employment, out in their communities, by providing job coaches. Today, the coaches guide consumers thru the entire employment process, from resumes to interviewing and finally on-the-job support for over 94 job placements in 2018.
Case Management services followed Supported Employment and today works with 34 consumers to put together a full menu of waiver services. Community Living Supports, Personal Care and Respite services were then added and exponentially grew the company, by hiring and training Direct Support Professionals throughout the Louisville Metro Region. These services help consumers become as independent as possible, in all aspects of their life, as well as provide their guardians with essential breaks from 24/7 care.
Acquired Brain Injury Waivers joined the list not long after, followed by residential services in the form of Family Home Providers. By 2012, Path Forward of KY had grown around Kentucky to include Supported Employment services in the Bowling Green Region and created the Bluegrass Region, serving 10 counties in central KY for both Michelle P and Supports for Community Living waiver services.
After getting the company up and running, like a well-oiled machine, the Executive Director position was handed down in 2013 from Alex to Brittany Knoth, our current ED. Brittany has led the way in professional development and team building while establishing the name of Path Forward as a respected leader in the field of Medicaid Services. In 2018, Brittany was honored by being selected to serve on the Centralized Quality Management Advisory Subpanel for the Medicaid Waivers Redesign. Today, Brittany excels in both management style and substance, leading growth and rock solid teamwork!
Over this past decade, PFK has grown to be financially sound by using a common sense approach while keeping quality and compassion top of mind. As chief motivator, Jim Bratcher, likes to say, “The main thing is and always will be the main thing at PFK; the folks we serve. That will always be our focus!”
Touching the lives of more than 200 consumers and guardians, closing in on half a million hours of service, PFK has a well-earned reputation of fine service driven by teamwork. We can’t wait to see what the next decade holds in store for us.
April 5, 2018
Lisa is a 48-year-old who has been married to her husband Craig for 25 years. Together, Lisa and Craig live with what Lisa dubs her “fur family,” which consists of two cats, Tippy and Juicie, and a dog, Sweetie.
While both Lisa and her husband are college-educated, employment opportunities for her have somewhat diminished over time after her diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis in 2003. Lisa does not view her diagnosis as a roadblock so much as an alternate course in her life’s journey. Rooted in her faith, Lisa has sought for an opportunity to share with others, through education and advocacy, that even after being told one has a chronic illness there is still hope.
To that end, Lisa founded and currently facilitates a self-help group called “Myelin Matters,” with the goal of educating and spreading awareness of MS in her area. Part of Lisa’s responsibility is to line up sponsors and speakers for monthly educational programs. Her advocacy is extending as she will be serving as an MS ambassador in Frankfort and later in the spring in Washington, DC. Lisa enjoys public speaking and is grateful for opportunities to share with others as she has been called to speak in several areas of the MS community.
Several Mondays a month, you can find Lisa with a fellow church member at her local nursing home ministering in song to the residents.
“Sure, it would be ideal to be paid for what I am passionate about, but God provides always, and in his time, not mine,” says Lisa.