• Historic Ithaca

Work Preserve Spotlight: Kaelan Imani


Shortly after Kaelan Imani joined the Tompkins WorkForce New York JobLINK program in Spring of 2021 he found his way into the Summer Work Preserve Program at Significant Elements. Kaelan jumped right in and one of his first hands-on projects was learning how to repair and replace a rush seat on a wooden stool.

After the summer program, Kaelan continued on at Significant Elements as a Work Preserve team member in our Job Placement program. So far his favorite projects have involved organization. “I enjoy routine,” he said, and “organizing and pricing different items makes every day different.” Here at the store Kaelan has found a good mix of independent work and teamwork. He says he feels comfortable working with Sara and Robert on tasks because they are able to give him clear instruction and trust him to complete the process.

Kaelan goes on to mention a skill set he would not have had before coming to work for Work Preserve “I cleaned and priced hooks and placed them on display.” Kaelan saw that process through from intake to the design of the display.


Kaelan mentions that his career lessons have changed his home life as well. “I wake up early before work,” he said and he discovered a sense of accomplishment in his daily life that he did not have last year. He continues to work on his customer service skills while working on the floor at Significant Elements. “I thought it would be harder for me, but I have been able to do more than I thought.” It has taken some time to get here, but Kaelan is no stranger to practice. For more than ten years he has played classical cello, dreaming of conducting his own orchestra.



Significant Elements and Work Preserve staff provide our participants with a wealth of knowledge spanning many fields of work. Along with this comes a wonderful opportunity for participants to ask questions in a nurturing environment, learn from skilled individuals, and receive one-on-one training, something not always accessible in larger retail environments. Kaelan has been a wonderful asset to the Work Preserve team. If you are a local business owner who is hiring, please reach out to sara@historicithaca.org to learn more about our program.

Fun-Fact: Kaelan enjoys cooking Indian food with his father.




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