October 09 – Tom (NDEAM Success Story)

Celebrating Our Successes!

Reflecting the important role that different perspectives play in workforce success, this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) theme is “Inclusion Drives Innovation.” Observed each October, NDEAM celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.

The Philadelphia “Employment 1st, Employment NOW!” Steering Committee is celebrating this year’s event with a month of employment success stories. Each day you will be receiving an email containing a new story about someone who is contributing to their community through employment. We invite you to join us as we celebrate their successes!

All Things Nautical…

Tom,  a participant of SpArc’s Vocational Training program who recently transitioned into Customized Employment, is an avid lover of boats and all things nautical, Tom expressed interest in learning more about the Independence Seaport Museum. After visiting and seeing what happens there on a daily basis, the teams from both SpArc and the Museum got together to build a custom apprenticeship for Tom to take on one day a week, which he has been doing since before Christmas 2016. While there, he helps sanding and painting small parts, and has dreams of one day building his own boat.

Tom is also a talented artist, and has produced a variety of artwork based on what he encounters during his apprenticeship. These pieces have been put on display in the museum, and some have even been sold to visitors. To date, four of his framed pictures have been sold, and he has received $150 as a result.

With the appropriate supports in place, Tom was able to find a part time job that allows him to do something that he enjoys, while learning new skills along the way. These skills will not only bring more joy to his everyday life, but they will also allow him to maintain employment and independence.

~Submitted by SpArc