Succeeding at one community job is a significant accomplishment, but Damian had the drive to do more.
Damian, 42, has been involved in Easterseals Arc programs for many years, and he recently added a second part-time job to his busy life.
For several years, he’s worked for a private company that contracts with the federal government to provide cleaning services in the E. Ross Adair Federal Building in downtown Fort Wayne. Then a few months ago, he was hired by Amazon to work in the company’s Fulfillment Center on Smith Road near Fort Wayne International Airport.
Amazon contracts with Easterseals Arc for a supported work group — a half-dozen Easterseals Arc participants and a staff member who perform work at the Fulfillment Center. But Damian’s situation is different. He was hired directly by Amazon, although he is supported by an Easterseals Arc job coach.
Dustin Jackson, his job coach, said Damian loads packages onto conveyor belts at Amazon.
The job at Amazon was easy to learn, Damian said, and it offers him a chance to spend time around people he likes, too. “I like making friends.”
He works at Amazon only one day a week — Mondays, from 1 to 5:30 p.m. On the other weekdays, Damian works at the Federal Building.
Damian is part of a cleaning team at the Federal Building. Although the people on the team participate in some Easterseals Arc programs, they work for a private company that contracts with the federal General Services Administration to clean the building.
Damian and his teammates sweep floors, empty trash and clean doors, among other tasks, he said.
Like his job at Amazon, working at the Federal Building gives him a chance to meet people, including the people who staff offices in the Federal Building.
“I’m friends with all of them,” he said.
Besides the socializing he enjoys at work, he loves to listen to music — from Toby Keith to Lil Wayne — during his breaks. And the money he earns provides many extras he enjoys, such as “jewelry, hats and stuff.”
In addition to working two jobs, Damian enjoys bowling, Special Olympics, attending sporting events and concerts, and dancing, especially hip-hop dancing. He has competed in Dancing with the Arc Stars several times, and he is a multiple award winner in Special Olympics ballroom dancing.
Even as he masters employment in the community, Easterseals Arc is still a fixture in his weekly routine. He spends Monday and Wednesday mornings at the Projects Drive Group, where he learned many of the work habits he now brings to private employers in the community.