October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. DDSO’s Employment Plus program provides opportunities for participants to contribute to the community through coursework, paid on-the-job training, community association, volunteering, and employment! This month we featured some of our best workers. View past interviews here and here.
This week’s interviews include Batie, Michael, and Natalie!
Dynamic duo Michael and Natalie have been together for 11 years and are Short Center South’s self-proclaimed best couple. Finally, the legendary Batie loves sports and is Employment Plus’ most reliable worker!
ALL ABOUT NATALIE: Natalie first began as a member of the SCS (Short Center South) maintenance team in 2011. Over time, she became team lead and the Safety Officer! As a team lead she trains new members of the team. As a Safety Officer, she helps ensure that everyone is being safe.
HOBBIES: Natalie is an incredibly creative and artistic young woman. Some of her hobbies include arts and crafts, jewelry-crafting, cooking, and painting with acrylics and watercolors. Natalie’s favorite hobby by far is sewing! She designs accessories like hats or bags, then brings them to life with fabric and thread. It is no coincidence that Natalie’s favorite teacher is Theresa, the instructor of SCS’s sewing class.
OVERCOMING CHALLENGES: Being team lead and the safety officer is a lot of responsibility! When it came to training new team members, Natalie’s main challenge was being nice and not getting frustrated. She needed to ensure new team members were focused and understood directions. As a Safety Officer, she had a lot of new rules that she needed to learn and remember. In order to overcome all of these challenges, Natalie said “Practice makes perfect.” All of her effort clearly paid off!
FAVORITE PART ABOUT WORKING: Natalie’s favorite part about working is being able to earn her own paycheck. Natalie said DDSO gave her first real job, and being employed makes her feel good and more important.
ALL ABOUT MICHAEL: Michael joined the SCS maintenance team in 2012. He is team lead and provides assistance in the SCS office. Assistant Program Director Amber praised Michael as the most helpful participant in SCS! She said that she has never ever seen Michael angry or upset, and described him as a hardworking and go-with-the-flow type of person who is always willing to help and has a great sense of humor..
HOBBIES: Michael loves to read- he’s a big fan of the mystery genre. His favorite book series is Harry Potter, and he’s read the series at least ten times! He also enjoys watching TV, and his favorite series is Grey’s Anatomy.
OVERCOMING CHALLENGES: Michael is a hard worker- he doesn’t think any of his tasks were too difficult to learn. When he first began helping in the SCS office, he found learning to calculate hours for payroll hard, and overcome this challenge by using a calculator as a tool.
FAVORITE PART ABOUT WORKING: His favorite part about working is being able to earn his own paycheck, and how it keeps him busy! He likes being able to buy the things he needs or wants for his apartment with Natalie.
Last but certainly not least is the legendary BATIE!
Batie started working as a member of E+’s maintenance team around 2011. He is incredibly skilled and and one of E+’s most reliable workers, as he can even help DDSO’s full-time maintenance employees Greg and Taft with repairs and projects!
ALL ABOUT BATIE: Anyone who knows Batie is left in awe of how hard-working he is. Taft described him as a fantastic coworker and hard-worker. Program Director Dennis described Batie as an a reliable man with strong work ethics and a good, positive attitude. Batie can be a little reserved and quiet at first, but once you get to know him you will see that he has a great sense of humor and is a practical joker!
HOBBIES: Batie likes sports- his favorite hobby is watching soccer.
OVERCOMING CHALLENGES: He is a team player and a self-described mellow guy. Since he often works with other coworkers, Batie says his biggest challenge working is patience. Batie is such a talented hard worker that he can find it frustrating when the people he works with are much slower compared to his own pace. He overcomes this challenge by asking his supervisor John to take over when he feels too frustrated so he can take a minute to de-stress.
FAVORITE PART ABOUT WORKING: Batie’s favorite part about working is being able to earn his own salary. Batie said that being employed keeps him “out of trouble” as he can stay busy. Because he is able to earn his own salary he is able to buy the things he wants and be more independent.
That’s a wrap for this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Thank you for everyone that followed along! Are you an employer looking to hire the right talent, right now? Considering a trial period? There are plenty of amazing workers just like Batie, Michael, and Natalie just waiting for you to give them a chance. We also offer contracts for Landscaping, Janitorial, or other Maintenance jobs!
Is your company looking to film training videos, PSAs, or other film work? The E+ Productions team produced award winning web series “Gettin’ Down“ and has provided professional work for many corporate companies, most recently a promotional video for the local wine group Goldline Brands! Contact DDSO Employment Plus now.