JobSource Client Wendy Sarkkinen Named Employee of the Month

JobSource-Wendy-SarkkinenWendy Sarkkinen, a client of JobSource, the community-based employment program of Opportunity Enterprises, was named Employee of the Month for July at the White Castle in Valparaiso.

Employee of the Month recognition is given to team members on the basis of their attendance, attitude, and job performance,” says General Manager Doretta “Dee Dee” Gonzalez, “and Wendy excels in all those areas.

Sarkkinen started at White Castle in June, 2012, and has been a superior performer since then. She is trained in all the same duties other team members are trained in, and is currently learning to work the drive-thru. In addition to her job at White Castle, she has also worked part-time at a local movie theater for the past 3 years, and is also busy planning her wedding, which will take place next summer.

When she found out she was named Employee of the Month, Sarkkinen says “I was ecstatic! I was so proud of myself. It doesn’t mean I can slack off, though – it just means I’ll be working twice as hard.”

Sarkkinen enjoys her job at White Castle, and really likes the staff and managers at her store. “It is fun working here – I love it,” she says, “I am able to joke around with everyone, and (managers) Donna and Dee Dee are the best. Everyone is really helpful, too.

I’m glad Wendy is part of my team. I know when she works there will be teamwork. Everyone is excited to work with her – she gets along with everyone on the team,” shares Gonzalez.

When Sarkkinen began searching for a second job several months ago, she turned to JobSource for help.

JobSource helped me fill out applications and update my resume, and got me some great leads, including the job at White Castle,” shares Sarkkinen. “I haven’t regretted applying here for a minute – it’s a great fit, and a perfect job for me.”

When I was learning the job, my Job Coach Joy helped a lot. My training went well and I caught on really fast,” Sarkkinen continues. “I would definitely recommend JobSource to others.”

Dee Dee Gonzalez feels the same way. “I believe everyone, regardless of their disability, deserves a chance to work,” shares Gonzalez, “I would highly recommend working with JobSource to hire future staff, and will definitely use their services again in the future.”

JobSource has more than 20 years of experience placing and supporting qualified individuals with disabilities in community employment, and utilize innovative protocols to ensure success. Services include pre-vocational training programs, placement screening processes, on-site job coaching, and an assistive technology program that features computer adaptations for clients with physical, visual, developmental and/or learning disabilities.

JobSource has offices in both Porter and Lake Counties, which allows the program to serve all of Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland. JobSource has successfully placed individuals with disabilities in a wide range of careers from entry-level to professional positions, and is the preferred employment agency for more than 100 businesses throughout the region.

To find out more about the JobSource program, visit or contact program director Kathie Savich or (219) 510-5330, ext. 213.

Since 1967, OE has been a non-profit organization which creates sustainable life choices and opportunities for individuals with unique challenges and abilities. Today, OE serves 1,100 adults and children with disabilities in Porter County and throughout Northwest Indiana. For more information, visit

Photo: Wendy Sarkkinen during a shift at White Castle