Ron’s Road Back
Posted on: October 5, 2017 | Posted by: Andy Turner
A major car accident in 1985 left Ron Janke with lifelong physical disabilities and nearly killed him.
During the long recovery afterward, Ron had to go through extensive rehabilitation and learn to walk again. “It wasn’t the best months of my life,” he says.
Since the accident, consistent employment has been a struggle for Ron, a native of Eagle, Wisconsin, who now lives in Watertown.
But through the employment supports he receives from Bethesda, Ron – at long last – has found stability. For the past two years, he has worked for ZBM, a commercial cleaning service in Watertown. He works nights and alternating weekends cleaning a local YMCA.
“Bethesda helped me find a job, learn about how to do it, and keep the job,” Ron says.
After being out of work for so long, Ron finds joy in his current position. “It feels goods that even though I have a disability, I contributed,” he says.
ZBM owner Terry Zastrow says she has seen Ron grow as a person and have more self-esteem during his time at her company.
“It’s good to see all staff grow with their responsibilities, and I’ve seen that particularly with Ron,” she says.
Sandy Northey, job developer for Bethesda Career Connections in Watertown, says Bethesda offers support services and soft skills training – as it did for Ron – that other organizations do not provide. The extra effort leads to the people we support staying on the job and working more effectively.
“For example, if someone is hired off the street they may only show up for a few shifts and quit,” she says. “In the majority of our cases, this will not be the issue. As a matter of fact, the people are so motivated to work, they feel awful if they do call in sick or cannot go to work.”
By connecting Ron with ZBM, Bethesda helped her to discover an “untapped workforce” in people with disabilities, Terry says.
“I think more people are going to find out,” she says.
The Career Connections staff at Bethesda can assist you in finding the right job for you or your loved one. Bethesda currently provides employment support services in Wisconsin, Oregon and Colorado. More information can be found here or by contacting Kristine Leonard, Bethesda’s Corporate Director of Employment and Community Life Engagement, at Kristine.Leonard@mailblc.org or 920-262-6529.
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