At the Rib Mountain Goodwill, where there’s a will there’s a way.
“One of our biggest success stories is Mark,” Store Team Leader Jerry Melvin said.
In 2021, North Central Health Care approached the Rib Mountain Goodwill about providing a work experience for a client of theirs, Mark, who is blind. After the funding referral fell through, Jerry agreed to bring Mark on through a 90-day placement and established benchmarks for him to meet.
Mark, who has been without his sight for two years as a result of a welding accident, didn’t have a walking stick yet when the relationship began. The benchmarks included getting a walking stick and being able to get into the building, to the restroom, breakroom and his ticketing work station.
When the team heard they were going to be getting Mark and what his barriers are, they were happy to bring him on, Jerry said. Team members and leaders are more than willing to make sure he has goods to ticket, set out his tickets and punch him in and out.
“They saw it as more of a, hey, this is great. We can be part of his success. There wasn’t one person who said, ‘This isn’t going to work for me.’”
Within three weeks, Mark could meet all of the benchmarks on his own.
“We were able to hire him after three weeks,” said Jerry, adding that initially he worked 20 hours and now is at 30. “He wants to work. The team is really good about working with him. He has a very good relationship with everyone here. He definitely feels like one of us.”
Mark’s achievements have had many ripple effects. They not only have shown the team at Rib Mountain what is possible, but they also have given previous partners a new perspective.
“He’s been a great success here,” Jerry said.