Matt Storer has found a job that challenges his quick mind and keeps him active.
Matt, 28, works 40 hours per week at Taylor Metal Products in Salem. It is his first paid community integrated job.
Previously, Matt was in employment path community services. He was excited to get a job and requested employment services from Vocational Rehabilitation.
Matt wanted a job where he works with his hands, but also one with variety that also engages his active mind.
Jordan Blake, Director of Career Services with provider IS Living in Salem, met with management at Taylor Metal Products, a Salem-based metal roofing and siding company with four locations nationally. Taylor Metals expressed interest in hiring someone with an intellectual or developmental disability but communicated that most of their positions are full-time.
Matt did an informational interview with staff at Taylor Metal Products and then a formal interview with Craig Rankin, supervisor of the comp and gutter department at Taylor Metal products, and his team.
“I felt like it was a great fit right away,” Matt said. “I got really excited about the idea of working here.”
Craig said he was impressed with Matt’s work ethic and felt confident he could be trained to do the job.
“He had been doing landscaping work for five years, and you don’t find too many people with that kind of consistency,” Craig said.
Matt now works 40 hours per week as a machine operator on Craig’s team. The “comp” team make composition shingles for roofs. They operate large machines on a small team of six or seven. Kevin Fisher, lead foreman on the comp team along with Antonio Garcia, said dependability is critical to the team.
“The last four years, we ran through a bunch of employees that just do what they want, show up when they want,” Kevin said. “It is really nice to have Matt here and have someone we can depend on.”
Matt’s entire team said he shows up on time and works hard – for them, that has made the difference.
“He’s doing what needs to be done,” Antonio said. “He never says no, and he wants to work. That’s hard to find.”
Job coach Christopher Neal works with Matt on safety protocol and helps him to remember to slow down.
“I work with him on keeping focused on what is doing so he stays safe,” Christopher said. “Safety is the No. 1 thing here so that’s important. But he is a hard worker.”
Supervisor Craig said he encourages other employers to hire people with disabilities.
“There are fantastic people out there willing to work hard and they should be given a chance,” he said. “I’m just glad Matt is here with us.”
Ashley Peterson, assistant production manager and safety coordinator at Taylor Metal Products, said the company is happy to have Matt.
“Matt has impressed me every day that he has been at Taylor Metal,” she said. “He is such a hard worker and has a great personality.”
Matt said he feels at home at his job and loves what he does. He enjoys the feeling of accomplishment.
“I’m always challenged here, and for me, that’s what I need,” he said. “Also, it has meaning in it. At the end of the day, I know I’ve done something.”
Matt’s employment team includes: Monika Affeld, service coordinator with Marion County CDDP; VR counselor Rachel Britsch; May VanBreemen, job developer with IS Living, and Christopher Neal, job coach with IS Living.
View a photo slideshow of Matt at work.