By: Molly Palm

When it comes to hard work, dedication, and commitment there is one person who comes to mind; Mark. He started with Community Involvement Programs (CIP) in 2014. Previously, he worked at a local car wash for nearly six years at various locations in different roles. While Mark had a steady job, competitive income, and co-workers he enjoyed working with, he felt like he was still missing something. He wanted to utilize his skills and interests every day at work just like anyone else and to grow his career possibilities for the future.

CIP was approached by Hoxie Homes with an opportunity for an Assistant Carpenter position. A former CIP employee whom provided direct support years ago with our Employment Program reached out to see if there was anyone in services who would be a good fit. We were very excited to hear this and knew the position would have the right natural supports.

After hearing what the position entailed and learning more about the culture of the business, it was clear Mark would be a perfect fit. He met with the owner of Hoxie Homes for an informational interview to learn more about the opportunity and was offered a position on the spot.

Mark accepted the position and has been working full-time for Hoxie Homes for nearly four months. He works with one or two other co-workers at a time depending upon the job and says he enjoys learning new skills. “I like the variety and how every day is different,” Mark explained to his CIP Employment Consultant. Mark is involved with demoing and all of the clean up that is behind it. He also assists with gathering the correct tools for his co-workers to get the job done. He is an important member of the Hoxie Homes team and makes every demo more efficient with a quicker end result.

In time, Mark will be able to learn and grow in his skills at his own desired pace. Mark’s future may entail learning new skills, framing, and trimming through the natural supports from his co-workers. This position allows Mark to have independence, natural support and benefits that he had been longing for in his previous work.

Mark works Monday through Friday during regular business hours and no longer has to work weekends. Instead, he can do things he enjoys such as going to the lake, seeing family, and running errands. His employment story is a success because of the connection his co-worker maintained with CIP after all of these years!