The start of Nick’s EmpowerOne journey began in the fall of 2018. He first came to Goodwill with no work experience but had a goal of community employment. When asked what types of jobs he would be interested in, Nick talked about coding, nature photography, and being a Brewmaster for MillerCoors. Nick needed some guidance to determine what job would be a good fit for him and what skills he would need to acquire to be qualified for these roles. To gain experience Nick, toured various work sites, such as the Milwaukee School of Engineering Printing Department, the Goodwill Laundry and Linen Services facilities, and even Miller Brewing Company. He learned to consider his work environment, such as the noise and temperature when deciding if a job would be a good fit for him.
To become work-ready, Nick needed support with skills such as communication and problem-solving. In time, Nick became more willing to accept feedback and continued to work hard, all with the goal of employment in mind. As part of his training, Nick volunteered at a variety of locations including Interchange Food Pantry, Feeding America, St. Luke’s, and the Milwaukee Christian Center Food Pantry. This experience helped Nick develop his skills, build his resume, and get an even better sense of what his dream job could be.
By the fall of 2019, Nick applied to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), a federal/state program designed to obtain, maintain, and advance employment for people with disabilities. By July of 2020, Nick’s hard work and patience paid off when he was offered a Temporary Work Experience (TWE) at Speedway! He was responsible for stocking items, maintaining the coffee and soda areas, and general cleaning both in and outside. By October, Nick’s TWE turned into a hire.
Nick continues to be employed by Speedway and has impressed them with his hard work in keeping Speedway’s appearance clean and neat, along with his ability to both receive feedback and implement any changes in his approach or attitude. He recently celebrated his first anniversary at Speedway, and his support team is incredibly proud of this accomplishment. Nick has a great sense of humor and a wealth of knowledge regarding history, geography, movies, and music. He continues to work daily on soft skills and developing healthy relationships with co-workers and work supports.
Recently, Nick increased his independence by utilizing his watch, learning coping strategies, and being aware of his surroundings outside. We wish Nick continued success in his employment, and we are very excited to be part of his Goodwill journey over the last three years!