Josh Takes the Driver’s Seat in His Career

January 20, 2021

Josh is a Red Seal (new window) Mechanic. A few years ago, when he was in his early 30s, Josh was involved in a motor vehicle accident. He sustained a T-10 spinal cord injury (new window) that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Josh’s life changed. But he knew he wanted to continue doing what he was passionate about – mechanics!

Josh loves the hands-on aspect of being a mechanic, especially putting things together and taking them apart. He needed an environment that could accommodate his wheelchair, where the employer would recognize that he was able to problem-solve with the same attention to detail as before.

This brought him to Neil Squire’s Working Together program.

In the program, Josh completed career assessments and worked on a resume tailored to his goal. He wanted to work with adaptive equipment where he could put his mechanical ability to good use.

Josh did a few information interviews, and soon he found out about Howell Ventures.

Cody Howell is the owner of Howell Ventures (Sure Grip Hand Controls (new window)). His father, the original owner of the company, has a physical disability and worked with Neil Squire Society in the past.

Howell Ventures has been around since 1986. They serve the global disability community by designing and providing the products required to retrofit vehicles. They manufacture hand controls, left foot accelerators, spinner knobs, and remote secondary devices. The Sure Grip Hand Control is a unique push/rock style with minimal effort required to apply gas and maintain speed, and allows drivers two-handed contact with the steering wheel.

They were interested in working with Josh, but faced the financial uncertainty of COVID-19 with respect to onboarding a new employee.

With the help of Working Together, Josh was hired with wage subsidy assistance for the Technical Support Specialist position. With the wage subsidy, the company was able to achieve its goals of having an employee dedicated to supporting its current products and modifying designs to make them better and more marketable.

Cody says, “Josh has been a dream to work with. He strolled in and started contributing right away.” He is highly engaged, gets along with everyone, and they’ve gained lots from his knowledge.

As a result of hiring Josh, his position has become economically self-sustaining. Josh is the point man. He makes it easier for the technicians in the field, and his employer anticipates that he will be building and guiding products soon.

It has been a great opportunity for Josh to leverage his mechanical skills. His goal is to increase his knowledge and help the company improve. He says he had a “great experience” with the Working Together program and is happy to be working at a job he enjoys, doing what he loves.

We wish continued success to Howell Ventures and Josh as they work together to better the lives of people with disabilities!