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IPS: Success Stories

IPS is working for Wisconsin job seekers, businesses, and health and human services professionals.

Your IPS success story can be featured here! Email it to the state IPS team. Staff will contact people they wish to feature and request they complete a consent form to use the story on this website before the story is posted here. If you are a consumer of services through the Department of Workforce Development’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, please notify your counselor if you submit a success story.

Larry Andrews

Job seeker

After serving time in the criminal justice system, Larry went to his local Comprehensive Community Services program for assistance in moving forward with his life. He had worked as a stocker, food service worker, maintenance person, and health care worker in the prison system and wanted to find gainful employment to support himself. An employment specialist began meeting with Larry to find out more about his strengths, skills, and interests. He was eager to find part-time work that would allow him to continue to maintain his government insurance benefits. Through several discussions about his work history, the employment specialist was able to draft a resume for Larry and help him apply for custodial positions at several businesses. About three months after he started his IPS journey, a company hired him for a part-time position cleaning a school. The employment specialist supported Larry as he began his job and dealt with scheduling issues. Larry and the employment specialist talked about how his income would affect his benefits and what would be the best for him to cover his daily and monthly expenses. The employment specialist spoke with Larry’s employer to confirm the number of hours Larry could work each month and assisted Larry in becoming independent in reporting his wages to the government through an app on his phone. Larry has moved into his own apartment with his wages and enjoys connecting with his family, nature, and the arts. 

(This story was written by Larry's IPS team.)


Masheia Wadlington

Job seeker

Masheia learned through IPS that she was good at cleaning and interacting with people. She and her employment specialist tried several job shadows at senior and assisted living centers, adult care, day care, beauty salons, health care facilities, and home health care agencies. These employers offered positions that allowed Masheia to use her cleaning and people skills, but also other skills. She discussed the possibility of becoming a certified nursing assistant, a dietary aide, receptionist, and beautician. Masheia also utilized the services and supports of the Department of Workforce Development's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation throughout this time. She understood the barriers that sometimes prevented her from being successful in previous jobs, such as a lack of transportation, arriving late, and not using her support team. She worked with her team to gain an understanding of her work tolerances. She developed skills to apply online for jobs, interview for jobs, and speak with supervisors. Most of all, she learned about the type of job she would like to do. She currently is a cleaner at a sports medicine clinic. Her involvement with IPS has allowed her to move out of a group home.  

(This story was written by Masheia's IPS team.)


Shawn Frorath

Job seeker

Shawn was introduced to IPS through his local Comprehensive Community Services program. He wanted to work, but knew he would need assistance to find and keep a job. An employment specialist helped him create a resume and practice interviewing for jobs. His first jobs focused on cleaning. He learned cleaning wasn't his strongest skill and he requested to explore other opportunities. He started volunteering at his church. This gave him confidence to look for new opportunities. He found work at a local grocery store. He left that job to focus on health. When he was ready to return to work, his employment specialist learned that Shawn wanted to work at the local airport. The employment specialist connected Shawn with the company that works with passengers who need wheelchairs. They practiced for the interview. Shawn was hired. He reports that he enjoys the energy of the airport and helping others. He hopes to continue to work there for years and years. When asked what he would tell other job seekers, he said, “give the process a chance.”

(This story was written by Shawn's IPS team.)


Paul Mitchell

Job seeker

Paul wanted to find full-time employment and be self-sufficient. He worked closely with his IPS team to come up with a plan that would concentrate on his strengths. He started working part-time at a recycling center. With the help of his employment specialist, he talked with his supervisor about full-time employment. He soon transferred to a full-time role at the recycling center. He left that job after his mental health worsened. He was hired for a cleaning job at a different business when he was ready to work again. The part-time job quickly turned into full-time employment. His mental health worsened again and he left that job. However, his support team help him rebound quickly. He was rehired and quickly promoted to a supervisory role because of his work ethic and dedication to detail. With his new job, he is now self-sufficient, completing the goals he set for himself when he began with IPS.

(This story was written by Paul's IPS team.)


Suzanne Maldonado

Business leader

“Building a diverse team of talented people to drive your business is an important priority. Most employers already have people in their work force who are struggling from anxiety, depression or other mental health challenges, and over the last couple of years, many employers have come to understand that investing in the mental and physical health of employees pays huge dividends in terms of productivity. People bring different attributes to the table, and people who have struggled with challenges can bring perspectives that are incredibly valuable for the workforce.”


Nichole Bibb

Mental health professional

"Working for Comprehensive Community Services, I have watched many clients flourish, especially since IPS has been integrated into our teams."

Last revised October 23, 2023