Goodwill Industries International has named Jim Barnette as its 2012 Achiever of the Year. Jim, 49, is legally blind and has mild quadriplegia as a result of a cerebral hemorrhage in infancy. He describes himself the way those around him depict him: happy and successful.
Jim first came to Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette (Portland, OR) when he was 40. He originally worked in the production and contracts department, but after spending some time on the floor of a retail store, he was hooked and asked for a transfer.
“I had to try out for two weeks to see if I could handle it. They always let me try new jobs. They didn’t tell me ‘no’ just because I’d never done it before,” Jim says. “And I was earning enough money to go shopping for albums. That’s my life – music.”
Today, Jim has a number of duties, from sorting donations and staffing dressing rooms to stocking shelves and displaying merchandise.
“He was determined to become a fully integrated employee,” says Director of Vocational Services Cheri Folk. “And, with the support of Goodwill staff, he’s definitely achieved that objective.”
Today, Jim requires very little supervision, and his confidence has soared. “Things are really good for me,” he says. “I have a girlfriend who is perfect for me. I have a job, and I earn money. I wish I would have found Goodwill sooner.”
Goodwill Industries International’s Achiever of the Year is a person who has shown great progress and accomplishment in overcoming challenges to finding employment, and who still benefits from the Goodwill work environment or receives services to support employment at a community site.
IMPORTANT LINKS: Goodwill – www.goodwill.org
Disability Employment Awareness Month — www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam
Job Training & Placement Report — www.impact-publications.com Additional individuals are profiled in the October newsletter.
Jim Barnette — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNnYmRMunhc