MERS Helps a Determined Worker Return to the Workforce

Bill exemplifies strength. Following an amputation and knee replacement surgery and while in the midst of a global pandemic, Bill was determined to return to the workforce. Now, with a strong and dedicated support system, a new job, and an amazingly positive attitude, Bill is ready to keep succeeding.

Bill was attending physical therapy with the support of his sister, Cindy, when he was referred to Missouri’s Vocational Rehabilitation services. In September of 2020, a referral to MERS Goodwill Employment Services connected Bill with the South County Career Center Director, Leslie Quarles, as well as an assigned employment specialist. As with each new participant, the employment specialist worked with Bill to develop vocational goals and determine what his next steps would be on his path back to independence. MERS Goodwill worked with Bill on things like creating a resume that features his transferable skills and connecting him with area employers that might be a strong match for Bill’s career goal and preferred environment.

Bill faced a few obstacles when it came to finding a job that suited his talents and his needs. The COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult to connect with his support community on a regular basis, including his team at MERS Goodwill. With Bill living in a care facility, extra precautions were put in place to protect his health and Cindy, Bill’s devoted sister, focused on safely transporting him to and from his appointments with the employment specialist and to his job interviews. Equipped with masks, maintaining a safe distance, and holding meetings in an outdoor space, Bill was resolved to keep his progress on track.

Each participant with MERS Goodwill’s Employment Services has individual needs and in Bill’s case, he would need to find a job that was easily accessible by bus, as transportation was an issue. Bill and his support network were unwavering. With a bus map ready and his long-term goals in mind, Bill and his employment specialist continued submitting multiple job applications per week, looking for the perfect fit.

Soon, Bill’s hard work paid off and he found a great position with CW Services, a federal contractor that handles custodial tasks onsite at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). MERS Goodwill was there every step of the way including helping him complete the application process and obtain his clearance to work on-site. Bill was able to then take it from there ensuring he’s always on time for his bus to work and making sure he’s successful in his new position as a custodian. He has made a name for himself within his team and meets meticulous standards already set by CW and impacted by Covid precautions. All of his new coworkers say he radiates positivity and always finds something to be happy about.

Bill has shown himself to be a positive thinker who works hard in his profession and works even harder to brighten the day of those around him. When asked about what had changed in Bill, his sister Cindy said, “His boost in confidence. He has something to look forward to and he know he’s achieved things. Things will just keep getting better for him.”
Bill has been able to reach all of the goals he set for himself in the beginning of his journey with MERS Goodwill Employment Services. He mastered interviewing skills and how to fill out applications, and now he has a new prized possession: his own truck. Up next, Bill plans on moving out of the residential care facility and focusing on getting his own space to live.

Through his dedication, positive attitude and the support of MERS Goodwill and his family, Bill was able to achieve his goals and set new ones for the future. We can’t wait to see the amazing things Bill will continue to do! MERS Goodwill Employment Services doesn’t just check the boxes and move on. The organization will continue to celebrate Bill as he achieves new milestones.