After graduating from high school, where he received special services, Dan was referred to Goodwill. At first, he participated in Work Adjustment Training geared to develop good work skills, attitudes and behaviors. From there, Goodwill’s Community Employment Services staff found a job for Dan that matched his interests and his improved skills—providing groundskeeping and recycling services as a major part of making sure that Minnesota Power’s Duluth facility stays clean and green, and he’s grateful for the job opportunity that has kept him busy for about 15 years.
“The job coach taught me how to do the different parts of my recycling job,” said Dan. “The hardest part was finding out where all of the rooms were and not getting lost. We made a list of room numbers and floors that I followed until I had it memorized. Now my job coach comes to check on me to make sure I’m still doing a good job.”
Dan enjoys his early-bird schedule at Minnesota Power, where he typically comes in early in the morning and is able to leave by noon. He helps out by sorting through the recyclable materials, including cardboard, paper, magazines, cans and bottles.
“I do a lot of recycling at Minnesota Power,” says Dan, who is epileptic. “I sometimes take out the garbage every once in a while.”
Dan’s co-workers describe him as dependable, committed to his job and well-liked.
Dan has worked at Goodwill for a total of 31 years, and for the past ten years, he has continued to be employed in the community—and continues to benefit from the support of Goodwill.
“You can’t stay home all the time and do nothing,” he said.