Steps to a well-deserved promotion
Abel Dullinger is widely known as a dedicated and hard-working employee who loves his job. Over the past few years, he supported the federal government in his role on the custodial night shift team at the Sandra Day O’Connor United States Courthouse in Phoenix, Arizona. Recently, his hard work earned him a well-deserved promotion to an independent staff position.
Prior to joining Beacon, one of the nonprofit agencies in the SourceAmerica® network, Abel worked in painting and landscaping to help his mom with rent. However, he knew that with a little support he could accomplish more. In 2017, Abel started working on a contract at Beacon through the AbilityOne® Program, one of the largest sources of employment for people who are blind or have significant disabilities.
During his first few years of employment with Beacon, Abel worked in the custodial division in group- supported employment. His role at that time included the support of a job coach that supervised, mentored, trained, and reinforced good work habits in a one-on-one setting. Adriene Gentile, Abel’s job coach, recognized him as a star employee who “always showed up on time and worked well on his own.” Abel had one goal in mind – to transition from supported employment toward an independent staff position.
“When I became Abel’s job coach, he approached me on multiple occasions with the desire to transition to a staff position,” said Gentile. “He was an independent worker who was focused on his tasks, and I coached him to be an advocate for himself and work toward that goal.”
Through hard-work and dedication, Abel was promoted and hired as a staff member at the Sandra Day O’Connor United States Courthouse last year. He no longer requires the support of a job coach and works the night shift. “My favorite part of the job is that it’s in the evening,” he said. “I used to be a morning person and now I’m like an evening person. I stay up most of the night and go to sleep most of the day.”
Abel’s primary focus is cleaning jail cells, conference rooms, staff restrooms, and more. “Jail cells probably take the longest; they are big” he said. “Restrooms don’t take as long as the cells.”
Abel mops the floors, disinfects surfaces, and cleans the toilet/sink areas. He follows a similar work pattern throughout his shift and finds comfort in his daily routine. “My developmental disability doesn’t slow me down,” he said.
“Even though it takes Abel longer to think,” said Greg Teske, Abel’s new supervisor, “he has done an outstanding job perfecting his daily routine.”
Teske has helped Abel find his stride as a Beacon Group custodial staff member. Abel enjoys working for Greg and says “I kind of knew him for a while. You kind of get a bond. He makes it easier for me to do my job.”
Teske commends Abel’s hard work and describes him as a shy person who listens and takes direction well. “He is willing to do whatever you ask him,” he said. “It may not always be perfect because occasionally it’s something he doesn’t know, but he’s always willing to just get in there and take care of things.”
In December, Abel’s work efforts were recognized by the Beacon Group when he received the Outstanding Achievement Award. The award demonstrated the exceptional progress Abel has made in pursuit of his goals.
As Abel looks to the future, he sees himself staying at Beacon Group and improving his daily routine. He appreciates the opportunities provided by Beacon Group and offers this advice to others: “Work hard and listen to your job coaches when they show you what to do. With the right support, you can achieve your goals, too.”
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