Working business partnership provides people with disabilities the chance to prosper, grow

Local News
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A working partnership between two employers in Peoria is giving adults with disabilities a feeling of purpose and success. Advanced Medical Transport is working with Community Workshop Training Center to provide this chance. 

Those in charge of the program say that there’s a misunderstood stigma about working adults who have disabilities and that this partnership provides positives to all who are involved. 

Zakary Durdle is the team captain of his crew at Advanced Medical Transport. He along with three others, take care of critical responsibilities at AMT. “I love it and it’s what I do now,” said Zakary Durdle. 

Each day, Zakary works from 7:30 until 11. He swells up with pride and emotion as he talks about his chance to work with first responders. Even going as far as to say, “AMT is my best job ever.”

His boss, Derrick Hahn, who has worked at AMT since 1991, said these adults deserve to be treated with the same respect and dignity as everyone else. 

“These individuals love to come to work,” said Hahn, VP of Fleet And Safety For AMT. “It’s the happiest thing to do for them is to come to work and do a fulfilling job.” 

For placement counselors at CWTC, like Rod Joos, he said, it’s a true joy to see their success come from a fulfilling job. 

“They get up in the morning and have something to go do as opposed to feeling like they’re not equal to the rest of us,” said Joos.

“It’s fun to have somebody that you work with that does a job for you that they have a sense of accomplishment,” said Hahn. “I’ve always thought that was a great thing.”

This working partnership begins through CWTC and can do to multiple agencies. Placement counselors say they’d like to see more businesses open their doors to allow adults with disabilities to work for them.

EP!C is also an area establishment which aims at helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities find work to help enrich their lives.

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