Success Story: Competitive Employment in Clarksville, Tennessee

By Sunrise Group on May 5, 2016


Del from Clarksville, Tennessee was awarded Employee of the Month two months before his one year employment anniversary.


Guest Blogger: Michelle Pitts
Regional Administrator
Sunrise Community of Tennessee

At work, it’s what people CAN do that matters. The National Campaign for Disability Employment is a collaborative effort to promote positive employment outcomes for people with disabilities by encouraging employers and others to recognize the value and talent they bring to the workplace.Sunrise’s Clarksville, Tennessee operations serve as a good example of how disability employment benefits employers as well as their employees.

DisEmploy_DGThe Dollar General Store on Fort Campbell Boulevard in rural Middle Tennessee “took a chance” when it hire Del as an entry level sales associate on June 13, 2015. While the store manager and fellow employees were welcoming and professional about Del’s hire, he was the store’s first employee with intellectual disabilities. At that time, no one really understood the benefits of working with a person with mental challenges. In business, the investment that drives innovation is talent. The knowledge, skills and abilities employees bring to work each day are by far the assets that yield the most output over the long term. Whether good economic times or bad, it’s the organizations that know how to identify and recognize talent that are most likely to succeed. Businesses that are inclusive of people with disabilities – in recruitment, retention and advancement – benefit from a wider pool of talent, skills and creative business solutions.

DisEmploy_02Del works a flexible schedule where he is routinely recognized for his meticulous attention to detail and his willingness to support his fellow co-workers. He takes great pride in his work and articulates very well the value of meaningful employment. Since his initial hire in June 2015, Del’s work duties have expanded to included maintenance. Fast forward one year to April 2016 when Del was awarded “Employee of the Month” for his outstanding service. Del’s success clearly demonstrates that flexible work environments expands the talent pool of all qualified individuals, including those with disabilities. Disability employment actually promote workplace success for everyone.