Having a job you enjoy and where you feel valued and appreciated is not always easy to find. But, with Alternatives’ help, Everett Adams has been one of the lucky ones to have found just such a job. For the past eight years, he has been a dedicated employee of Shaw’s in Franklin, responsible for returning carts from the parking lot to the store’s front entrance. The job is not a cushy one – you can find Everett outside in the frigid, too short days of winter, as well as during the humid, dog days of summer. However, Everett doesn’t mind the weather because he enjoys being outside. And if you ask him why he finds his job rewarding, his response is one that we can all relate to: “I like it.” he says, “because I get paid and I get to see my friends.”
The job has also paid off for Everett in ways that can’t be measured in dollars or social interaction. “He really takes it seriously. It’s the one time I don’t have to hurry him up to get ready,” comments Anne Adams, Everett’s mother. “This job has really helped him to develop a sense of self-confidence, purpose and to be more responsible in general,” she adds.
Everett’s employer has noticed his dedication and appreciates his contributions as an employee. “Everett’s very conscientious about his job, he always removes papers from the carts and carefully puts the safety straps back.” says Jim Burns, Store Director.
It wasn’t easy for Everett to find the right job. It took time and the help of Alternatives’ Employment Services program to find a job that would suit both his capabilities and his love for being active and outdoors. Jim Burns notes that since Shaw’s is often a first job for many people, they don’t often stay very long. “Everett is one of a small group of employees that have stayed long enough for us to have the chance to get to know them.”
John Tower, Job Developer for Alternatives, confirms Burn’s statement, noting that it’s often hard for employers to keep qualified staff in entry-level positions and for individuals with disabilities to find jobs. “Shaw’s is a great example of an employer who has realized that hiring people with disabilities is good for both their business and the community. Everett and his job at Shaw’s is a perfect example of this.”