Employment First – Michael

Through our supported employment program, individuals with disabilities can learn job skills and find jobs that are a good fit for them.

Michael grew up in a remote corner of Prince of Wales Island. He had never had a paid job before. When he moved to Ketchikan, he needed some help with the transition, and getting a job. So he came to Community Connections.

Michael “I wanted to work at Walmart, because I always, I’ll buy stuff in there.” “Got help from Lance Haynes, who works here at Community Connections, he’s a job coordinator. He helped me find the job there.”

Community Connections works with local businesses to find jobs for people with disabilities.

Michael “They needed an assembler. So I tried it out, and I was good at so that’s where I stuck.” “I work in the back with bikes and barbecues.”

At first, Michael had the support of a job coach. They helped him learn the “soft skills” of the job: good work ethic, how to take direction, and how to create a good work routine.

Terry Smith “He’s very meticulous, on mechanical. And it kind of comes natural to him, we’ve had him build other things.” “He enjoys it. Wants to always do a really good job on what he’s doing.”

Having a job allows Michael to live independently for the first time.

Michael “I’ve been working there for a little over four years now. It helps pay for groceries, getting some new movies and TV series, games… and basically paying the bills.” “The one thing I always say is, life wouldn’t be fun if everything was always easy.”


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