Tim Benedict and Taylor Ingle have found jobs at a small community business that gives them a chance to grow and thrive in their career goals.
The young men both experience autism, and they are also avid gamers. Getting a chance to work with computers for their jobs has been a dream come true.
Tim, 26, and Taylor, 20, both work around 18 hours weekly at family-owned business EcoBinary. Tim did a work assessment, and owners David Bax and his wife Frankie Bax hired him as a permanent employee after seeing his skills.
Tim's duties include sorting and recycling electronics, sorting parts from computers into appropriate bins and using electronic and hand tools, heat guns, air-compressors, and pallet drivers to perform various duties around the warehouse. He also helps deliver orders to customers outside of the warehouse.
"There's always stuff to do here," Tim said. "I like to keep busy."
Tim has previous community work experience, but he said he fits in much better with the team at EcoBinary.
"The managers are friendly and nice; they aren't negative all of the time," he said. "I feel like I'm a part of the team and they always ask me how I am doing."
Tim's job developer Marta Bunse is an employment specialist with Dirkse Counseling and Consulting in Portland. She said Tim and Taylor are both committed to working long-term at EcoBinary and learning more about the job.
"Tim is starting to really come out of his shell, and it's in part because he has found a place that accepts him," Marta said. "The owners know who Tim is underneath and that this job means a lot to him."
Since starting his job in November 2014, Tim has received a 25 cent raise, which Marta said will increase in the coming months if he continues to perform well. Marta meets with Tim weekly to talk about his goals, his dreams and any problems he may be having.
Taylor works in the warehouse with Tim. His duties involve installing software onto computers. Taylor went through Dirkse Counseling and Consulting for his Discovery as well as job development. He said he likes the challenges of his job.
"I constantly get to learn new things," Taylor said. "It's one big puzzle. Once you learn one thing, you have to break it down again. I'm helping to make sure people can play games on these computers in the future."
The break room of EcoBinary is a gamer's heaven. Owner David Bax has fixed up old Atari systems, as well as Xbox and Nintendo play stations. A sheet on the wall shows the current scores of all the employees on a game called Need for Speed (Tim is currently in the lead).
David Bax said for a small business owner, finding dependable employees who care about the business is critical. EcoBinary is an e-waste collector, refurbisher, reseller, and recycler, and handles sensitive data information.
"Honesty and dependability when dealing with people's personal information is more important than job skills for our business," he said. "What I look for are people with a desire to learn and work hard."
For a business owner, David said that having local job developers who understand how his business works has been essential.
"It has really helped us that Marta knows our business and really knows what we need in terms of skills and fit."
EcoBinary has been in business for seven years in Beaverton and found a niche business with electronics recycling in a tech-heavy region.
"If we find the values match, we can show the employee what to do," David said. "Tim and Taylor have a real willingness to work hard, and they are honest and dependable. For our business, they are a great fit."
Tim's personal agent Sue Switzer with Self-Determination Resources Inc. (SDRI) and VR counselor Dan Franks assisted in his job placement. Taylor is supported by Clackamas County DD Services and VR counselor Saideh Sharif-Kazemi.
See a slideshow of Tim and Taylor at work.