Success Stories

Robert works more than 20 hours per week at Safeway

When Robert Fell likes you, you'll know it because he will call you "turkey." Only the best people get this nickname from Robert.

"Hey, you turkey," he says to greet Pamela Roan, director of employment services at Step Forward Activities, Inc., a provider agency in Baker City.

"Back at ya Robert!" Pamela exclaims, as the two crack each other up.

Robert Fell at Safeway

Robert has worked at the Safeway in Baker City for two years. He previously was in a sheltered workshop. Step Forward has since closed its sheltered workshop to focus on community employment services. Pamela developed the job for Robert, who has limited verbal skills, but is a hard worker with a big heart.

Robert also calls his manager, Christopher Walden, a turkey. The supervisor and employee enjoy a good rapport and love to joke around.

"When he sees people he knows from the community in the store, you can hear him call out, "Hey turkey," Christopher said. "And he seems to know just about everyone in town."

Robert works 20-25 hours per week as a courtesy clerk. His favorite part of his job is stocking the eggs.

"I like the eggs," Robert said. "I just like them."

Safeway has hired several people with intellectual and developmental disabilities at the Baker City store. Christopher said Safeway just appreciated hard working employees who care about their work.

Robert Fell at Safeway in Baker City

Robert said he prefers his current job to being in the sheltered workshop.

"Love it here," he said. "Much better. More money. Like it."

When asked by the end of the interview if the interviewer can now be considered a turkey, he shakes his head, no.

"No, no, not a turkey yet," he said laughing, then pointing to Pamela and Christopher: "Those are turkeys."

Robert's employment team includes: Pamela Roan, employment director and job developer at Step Forward Activities, Inc.; Justin Emmons, Jack Woodruff and Charlie Carpenter, job coaches with Step Forward Activities; and VR Counselor Wendy Wall.

View a video testimonial from a manager at the Safeway in Baker City.

View a photo slideshow of Robert at work.