I injured my back on September 19, 1995. I was a heavy equipment mechanic, and I was put out of work because I couldn’t do that type of work anymore. From that point, I got hooked up with an outfit called Rehab Services, a place that helps people with disabilities find employment.
I went down and talked to this woman, and she basically hooked me up with Goodwill Industries Vocational Enterprises here in Duluth, MN. I currently work in the store. The name for my current job is materials handler, but I’ve worked in a few different departments. I built boxes for LaBounty manufacturing in Two Harbors, MN. I worked on the presorting belt, and then I finally got hired on at the store. I also do shipping and receiving to all 13 of the outlying stores.
So basically when you donate your used items, you’re creating a job for someone like me and others that are here as well. I am on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), so this is some extra money. It gets me out of the house, and it’s a job that they have tailored to my disability.
This has been a pretty good fit for me because it’s hard to find employment if you have a severe back injury, as I do. The staff takes pretty good care of you. I have an excellent case manager who helps me with anything that I really need – like social security stuff and paperwork.