Billy, a paper mill employee for over 30 years, suffered a serious head injury when he fell backwards off a ladder. Doctors told him he was lucky to survive, but he was left debilitated by severe headaches every day. Billy found himself 50 years old in rural New Brunswick and struggling to find suitable work.
The sparsely populated rural setting presented a few challenges for Billy. Any available jobs were entry level, labouring positions which he was no longer capable of. There was also the fact that in a community as small as Billy’s, everyone knew him and knew of his accident. For most people with a disability, this could be a barrier, but Billy turned it to his advantage.
Billy turned to the Employ-Ability Program at the Neil Squire Society for help. He did not have a large bank of transferable skills to draw upon for alternate employment, but he did have a solid reputation in his community and a strong work history. He was well known and well respected. After several discussions with Billy, he singled out Robinson’s Fuels as a company he thought he might like to work for. He knew the company and thought it would be a good fit.
The Neil Squire Society’s Employment Specialist arranged a meeting between Billy and company owner, Kenneth Robinson and they agreed to an initial, unpaid work experience program. Billy performed such tasks as general shop maintenance, painting, pumping fuel, filling out invoices, serving customers (something Billy really enjoyed), yard work and assisting the drivers on long runs. Billy was a star. When his work experience term ended on September 2nd, he was offered a paid, part time position with the possibility of extra work during peak times.
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