NDEAM 2019: Opening doors; meet Malcolm Giles
By Tatiana Peralta
After 10 years of service, Malcolm Giles left his military career. His biggest challenge as a veteran with a disability? Finding meaningful employment. Companies constantly closed the door on opportunities for him, despite his abilities as a valuable employee.
Malcolm refused to stop knocking on the doors of companies. In the past six years, his persistence opened the door for him to find fulfilling employment at Professional Contracting Services, Inc. It also led to his promotion from Quality Control Manager to Quality Control and Safety Manager, a role he assumed at PCSI a month ago. In addition, he was recognized as a 2019 SourceAmerica National Award Winner and was recently added to our speaker’s bureau.
As part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Malcolm will speak at our National office along with Mark Bridenstine on October 17.
Making a difference at PCSI
Right after leaving the military Malcolm worked in a variety of different settings, but employers didn’t understand that he needed sick time or breaks. He found himself unemployed and encountered companies that didn’t feel they could accommodate his needs. After being turned down so many times, Malcolm started to lose hope.
Then Malcolm heard that PCSI was hiring veterans with disabilities. When the nonprofit’s door opened for him, it changed his life. The PCSI team welcomed Malcolm with open arms, filling him with a sense of joy and excitement. Unlike other jobs he had held, PCSI was both willing to accommodate his disability and to push him beyond his current abilities. Today, Malcolm is a PCSI Quality Control and Safety Manager. He conducts inspection, deals with customer complaints and ensures PCSI stays compliant with its contracts.
Malcolm knows he’s a part of something bigger than himself. His job allows him to make changes for the better - both for the organization and personally. We all have challenges we have to overcome in life and at work. In Malcolm’s case, in order to move past his anxieties, he’s had to put himself in uncomfortable situations. He’s moved from third shift to first shift, where he interacts with more people every day – something he never thought he would be able to do. He’s succeeded every step of the way, motivated by the passion he has for his job. In fact, he enjoys his job so much that when he goes home, Malcolm thinks about all the things he didn’t finish. When he walks through the door in the morning, he’s ready to finish what he started and tackle the next task.
From the beginning, PCSI believed Malcolm could make a difference. It’s a responsibility he hasn’t taken lightly.
Opening the door for others
Helping others is one of Malcom’s favorite parts of the job. He loves listening to people and interacting with them. He believes that when we’re succeeding in life, it’s important for us to bring other people with us. Many people unlocked doors to help Malcolm in his times of need, which is why he always tries to be there for others, even if that means just listening.
PCSI has become a home for Malcolm, and his co-workers have become family to him. It’s part of what makes PCSI such a good work environment. Malcolm enjoys helping people who have faced the same challenges he has; it makes him realize he can have a positive impact in the lives of others, just like others have had on him. It’s a two-way-street. Listening to others and earning their trust means they’re going to be there for you when you’re in need of emotional support.
Having a support system is incredibly important to Malcolm. His small circle has helped him every step of the way in this journey, in and out of the job. He credits them with providing him with the opportunities he has had, including the chance to share his story.
The impact of SourceAmerica and the AbilityOne Program
Malcom’s number one goal is to keep knocking on doors that will open to new and challenging growth opportunities.
SourceAmerica, PCSI and the AbilityOne Program have all helped Malcolm grow personally and professionally. For him, the AbilityOne Program was the light at the end of the tunnel, allowing him to do what he does today while giving him a strong support system. Through the program, he’s employed at an organization that provides him accommodations while appreciating his talent and skills. To be able to take time off when needed and know that his job will still be there when he comes back has given him a sense of security.
In addition to giving Malcolm his confidence back, the opportunities to be a part of these organizations have opened brand new doors which he never thought were possible. This year alone, Malcolm was honored as an Evelyne Villiness SourceAmerica National Award winner. When he heard that he had won, he simply could not believe it, he was humbled that PCSI felt he was worthy of the nomination and that SourceAmerica would select him as the award recipient. Recently, he also joined the ranks of our Speakers Bureau and will share his story with people around the nation!
There’s no door that Malcolm isn’t willing to open. Even if he’s nervous about it, he’s always willing to try. He’s always asking himself, “how far up can I go?” while appreciating everything life throws his way.