Matty B. loves his job at the Home Depot in Orange because, as he says with his infectious grin, “I like helping customers out.”
Matt works three days a week as a lot attendant at Home Depot. He helps customers out to their cars with their purchases. He greets people and carries the “lot phone” so customer service can call him when help is needed. Matt also is charged with keeping the store entrance area in a neat and orderly state, which fits him well, given that his condo, a block away from the Chapel Haven campus, is as neat as pin.
Our latest “Work Place Wednesday” feature, Matty B. has realized a lifelong dream, according to his mom, Peggy Baker. With three other siblings in this big family from Cheshire, CT, Matt always wanted to make his own way.
“A paying job is all he’s ever wanted,” says Peggy. “Isn’t that what we want for all our children? He is now like the rest of the family. He has a job and his own place. And we could not be prouder!”
Matt got the job through the good work of Chapel Haven’s new Center for Employment Services & Opportunities (CESO).
“Matt didn’t have much work experience, so we knew an entry level job was appropriate, in an environment where he would have helpful supervision,” said Matt Wiant of CESO. “We discovered that Matt loves people and enjoyed greeting visitors at Chapel Haven and giving tours of the new construction area as a member of Chapel Haven’s Building Committee. He also likes wearing his bright safety jacket and hard hat and he likes working outside.”
All of that, plus a detailed assessment, helped the CESO team zero in on the Home Depot Lot Attendant/Greeter position matching Matt’s vocational goals, passions and abilities
“Given our previous experience with several of the local Home Depot stores and teams, we knew that the Orange, CT store would likely embrace someone like Matt and help him come up to speed. We accompanied Matt to his interview at the Home Depot, and we discussed his candidacy with their Store management and HR department. They hired Matt on the spot. They loved his friendly personality … he made them smile,” said Matt Wiant.
Matt, a graduate of Chapel Haven’s REACH program, uses all of the skills he practiced while living in Chapel Haven’s supervised program, to handle the job. He gets up on time, walks from his condo to the bus stop, manages two buses independently to and from work and has also learned how to use My Ride. He packs his own lunch for work (a turkey and cheese sandwich and a Sparkling Ice beverage) and gets his work outfit ready to go each day.
Sometimes Matt helps the managers do odd jobs as requested and recently passed his 90 day review, therefore Matt is a permanent part time employee.
When he’s not working at Home Depot, Matt volunteers at Yale-New Haven Hospital, in the material services division, where he loads trucks and does other tasks with his usual enthusiasm. He enjoys working out with Chapel Haven’s Crossfit crew, is involved with Special Olympics softball and soccer, takes part in recreation trips on the weekends and is an ardent Red Sox fan. Matt is also Chapel Haven’s resident expert on every aspect of the Chapel Haven campus expansion. He can see the work happening from the windows of his condo.
“Matt loves his job,” says Karin Frodel, director of vocational services at Chapel Haven. “And from all reports his supervisors and coworkers feel Matt is a welcomed addition and asset to the Home Depot team.”
“Matty B. exemplifies our position about our adults and employment,” says Chapel Haven President Michael Storz. “In the right job and with proper supports, our adults make the best employees around. I am so proud of Matty B!”