Colorado

Oct 27, 2009 8:28 AM by Jeannette Hynes

AFA janitor thrives in workplace

John Weaver wakes up at 3:50 a.m. every day.  He has to catch the bus so he's at work by 6 a.m.  He's a janitor at the Air Force Academy, and he says he doesn't want to miss a day.

"I look at it not just a job, but something fun to do every day," says Weaver.

John has a mental disability, and as part of Goodwill Industries employment placement program, he's able to work at the Air Force Academy, where he and his team clean 125 buildings.  The program helps people with mental and physical disabilities find jobs.

"People are often surprised to learn that they have above average performance, above average safety records, very dependable, so it's a labor pool we want more and more people to tap into," says Melissa Lyby, public relations director for Goodwill Industries.

Weaver has a job consultant who helps him learn the job tasks or helps him resolve problems.  That consultant makes sure Weaver is happy with his job and the Air Force Academy is happy with his performance.

Weaver says he likes to see the smiles on the Cadets' faces, and appreciates the "thank yous" they give him daily.  He has earned several awards for his spotless work. 

"I want to keep their place clean," says Weaver.

October is "National Disability Employment Awareness" month.  Goodwill Industries helped 4,000 people with mental and physical disabilities find jobs in Colorado Springs last year.

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