Through Fayette Progressive Industries (FPI), one local individual has found not just one job he can perform, but two that he has been successfully holding down.
Through utilization of the Employment First initiative (EFI), an effort that helps developmentally disabled adults to find work, and the Bridges to Transition program, which teaches them applicable skills to join the workforce, many have found success. Whether to help them cultivate physical skills, such as mopping, folding or sorting, to social skills, such as learning to connect to customers or networking opportunities, FPI has worked for years to help raise the standard of living for disabled residents.
Kyler Thornburg is an employee at both Goodwill and Frisch’s Big Boy in Washington Court House. It was thanks to FPI and his determination that Thornburg was able to acquire both jobs.
“I just recently started at Frisch’s about seven months ago and I have been working at Goodwill for about three years,” Thornburg said. “I hang clothes, sort items and also help to load the truck at Goodwill. I also unload trucks, clean dishes in the dish tank, bus tables and also sweep floors over at Frisch’s.”
Thornburg has started to become adjusted to the way of life in the workforce. He notes how fast-paced everything is and also that it requires one to work hard and listen to their boss to be successful in work. He believes that it is good for anyone in his position to work and that work can be a lot of fun. One of the other aspects he really enjoys about his job is seeing all of the people he knows out in the community while he is working.
“Kyler is a heck of a young man and has really come a long way in just the few months he has been with us,” Steve Reeves, general manager at Frisch’s, said. “He has such high energy and is always around helping. Kyler is a real go-getter and is always looking for more to do. He really did well for us during our busy season and has been a great asset to the crew.”
Thornburg said he hopes to become an archaeologist just like Indiana Jones in the future. He also wanted to thank Francis, Carla, Steve at Frisch’s and Terry at Goodwill for all of their help in getting him his jobs. Finally he wanted to thank his job coach Chris Shepeard and his parents for all of the help and support they give him.
“We really want employers to realize these individuals all possess skills, determination and ethics that they are looking for,” Betty Reisinger, community service specialist at Fayette Progressive, said. “All they need is a bit of guidance and some practice, and they can make the best employees at any business.”
This story is the eighth in a series that showcases the success stories of individuals within the county with disabilities who have faced adversity and grown through the process to become more independent adults. For more information about the programs described here and other programs, contact Fayette Progressive Industries at (740) 335-7453.