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Success in the workplace for residents of Chapel Haven is not measured just by the job they do but also by their job readiness skills, such as getting up early, taking the bus and reporting to the job on time.

Mike A. is nailing all of that and more!

Mike works for Home Depot in North Haven. He recently received his third Homer Award. The Homer awards are given out by management for providing excellent customer service and/or by exceeding normal work expectations. Mike receives a badge each time he receives a Homer Award.

Mike takes the bus to his job every day from his Westville apartment. He prides himself on not only being on time for his work, but getting there early.

“I love the bus, I know all the drivers,” said Mike.

Some advice Mike gives to future employees of Home Depot is to “get used to getting up early for the job.”

Mike has been employed with Home Depot since Jan. 15, 2019. Mike recently celebrated his one-year anniversary. He got his job through Chapel Haven’s Center for Employment Services and Opportunities program (CESO), which helps adults with developmental and social disabilities in reaching their employment and career goals.

At Home Depot, Mike has worked in the parking lot, collecting carts and helping customers load their cars. He has also helped in other departments when needed, such as cutting new keys for customers. Recently, he has been trained to work in the Hardware Department.    

Mike has a goal to join the associates of Home Depot in the lumber department where they stack various kinds of lumber.

 The manager of the North Haven Home Depot, Mark Routhier, finds that the associates referred by Chapel Haven are, “very eager to help customers and very eager to learn.” The associates often arrive early to work at Home Depot before their shift even begins. Currently in the North Haven location there are four associates from Chapel Haven.

“I love working,” said Mike. “It gives me something to do during the day, instead of sitting around all day.”

Congrats to Mike A.! For more information about CESO, please contact Danielle Chiaraluce, Executive Director.

Joe Bulwidas, journalism student at Southern Connecticut State University, reported this story in 2019 as part of Journalism Capstone coursework for Chapel Haven Schleifer Center