Updated: Jan 17, 2018
L to R: Hilarie and Valerie with HV Station, Jack and Sheena Green, Community Employment Specialist.
Jack Breazeale is thrilled to be working at the Happy Valley Station and absolutely ecstatic about being featured on their Facebook page.
“I went viral,” said Jack with a big smile on his face. He enthusiastically added that he received 250 views, 14 comments and four shares.
Happy Valley Station is located at 13551 SE 145th Avenue and offers a covered and heated inside pavilion, 45 tap bar, coffee cart, 26 food cart spaces that circle the pavilion and a kids play area.
Jack started last October and works Wednesday through Sunday wiping off tables and the chalkboard, taking the trash out, sweeping the floor and helping the bartenders when needed. Jack has the right personality for this type of position.
“Jack is a fantastic employee,” said Happy Valley Station Manager Valerie Hunter. “He is always asking what more he can do versus what more we can do for him. We like to make the community aware who is on our team. We put Jack on Facebook and it just blew up.”
Valerie is no stranger to working with individuals with disabilities. Her oldest daughter Sophia is autistic and so is Chelsea who is also employed at the Station.
A lot of changes are occurring in the State of Oregon regarding supportive employment. The goal is to get individuals working in the community at a competitive and integrated work site.
“That is the direction we are going,” said Community Employment Specialist Sheena Green. “Individuals with disabilities should be seen for their abilities not their disabilities. They can provide so much support, value and purpose to a business.”
Sheena and her coworkers in Work Futures are making connections and plugging in the right people for the right position.
“I think it will start a wildfire,” added Sheena. “By word of mouth other businesses will want to get on board. It’s very important for equal opportunity employment.”
Sheena said this is a great place for Jack. The management, coworkers and administrative team are very supportive and it’s very conducive for Jack to thrive.
“I couldn’t be happier that this opportunity presented itself and we had a qualified individual to put into the spot,” said Sheena.
Jack started with 8-10 hours a week and after a month his hours doubled when a position opened up and Jack stepped right in. He is meeting more people and feeling connected to the community.
“I am doing great here and Valerie said I am one of the better employees,” said Jack. “I’ve been in the spotlight ever since.”