I knew that I wanted to enter the workforce but it was not going to be easy. I have autism and needed assistance with my job seeking skills. That is when I reached out to my local Goodwill. When I first entered the Supported Employment Program that was offered at Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois and the Wisconsin Stateline Area, I did not have any job experience and needed assistance finding and maintaining a job. I was assigned to a job coach that would work with me every day to build my skills.
In the program, I performed janitorial duties under the supervision of my job coach. We would meet one-on-one every week to work on job development activities, update my resume, and work on my interviewing skills. Even though I was living at home, I was thrilled that I was able to contribute to my community through working.
I excelled in the program and soon learned the soft skills I needed to be successful in the competitive job market. I interviewed at Walmart and got the job working in maintenance! Today, I am working without a job coach and works 5-6 days a week at Walmart. I feel more independent and I enjoy having some spending money and being able to save for the future.
“Michael is a great role model and was such a success in our program. Michael is someone that wanted to work and would not give up until he had a job that he liked and was good at. He was always on time for his shifts and would come dressed appropriately and ready to work. He had such a good attitude and would make his co-workers and job coach laugh. He had a “can do” attitude and anything his job coach asked of him, he would give it 100%. We knew once he got a job in the community he would be successful. He is the type pf person you want to be around and inspires others. He is a team player and gave complete dedication to the program. Michael possesses a lot of great qualities, but his courage, determination, and his dedication to improving his life and finding the tools and resources to succeed, were among his best. The program helped him get a job, but it was Michael’s strength, motivation, and work ethic that will continue to make him successful throughout his whole life.” said Michael’s Job Coach, Alexandria Pierce.