The Project Independence Supported Employment program successfully matches a job with someone with a developmental disability like Victoria.

Nonprofit Project Independence (PI) of Costa Mesa is pleased to announce that the organization’s client Victoria Tran has joined the staff of Carr Manufacturing Company, Inc. in Lake Forest.

Her new job was secured through Project Independence’s Supported Employment program and job coach Sohalia Naeimypou. The nonprofit serves its clients by having job developers continually seek corporate partners looking to build a stronger community by employing adults living with developmental disabilities.

Carr owner Michelle Carraway says she knew their need for someone with the patience and focus that Victoria displayed would be a great addition to her team. Now they are looking for other places where another PI client would find purpose and independence.

Michelle Carraway, owner of Carr Manufacturing Company, Inc., left, welcomes new employee Victoria Tran from Project Independence. (Todd Eckert, Director of Development at Project Independence)

As for Victoria, Sohalia couldn’t be prouder of how quickly she has taken to her job responsibilities. “Victoria might be wearing her safety mask, but I can always tell that she is smiling beneath it,” she says.

The Supported Employment program develops jobs and then matches up the skills of clients to the needs of the employers. From orientation, skills training and commute scheduling, to detailed job duties and supervisor contact, the organization fuels stability in the employer and employee relationship. It provides whatever the person needs to be successful, from extra training, establishing priorities and creating task schedules, to educating employees at the job site and building natural supports.

Project Independence has more than four decades of service and stability in Orange County. Eighty-seven cents of every dollar raised by the nonprofit goes directly to support vital programs for people with developmental disabilities. For additional information, please visit