Hard Work Pays Off for Central Nebraska Man

By Jeff Kingsley

Grit is passion and perseverance for very long term goals. Grit is having stamina, grit is sticking with your future, day-in and day-out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years. – Angela Duckworth

Tyler, a young man we support in Central Nebraska, personifies grit, one of Mosaic’s values. Tyler is 26 years old and has been served by Mosaic since he was 15.

His two biggest goals have always been to live on his own and work at a job where he felt wanted and needed. When I first began at Mosaic, I wasn’t sure who Tyler was, but I knew he was a hard worker.

Last year, Mosaic started a partnership with Crossroads Center Rescue Mission, a faith-based shelter that offers food, safety and a four-phase recovery program to men, women and children experiencing homelessness. This partnership is key in helping ensure that both groups of people we support can succeed.

As we began this partnership, we did some remodeling work within the building we share. Every day I stopped by and saw Tyler. He helped clean up materials from the demo, swept up messes, and did whatever else needed to be done.

Tyler’s hard work and dedication to the project stood out so much to me that I finally asked one of the workers at Crossroads who he was.

“He’s one of yours.”

After I got over my embarrassment of not knowing, I was proud to know that Tyler was one of my coworkers. The days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months, but the one constant was Tyler’s dedication to the job at hand.

Eventually, I gathered up my courage (again) and asked a coworker how long Tyler had been employed by Mosaic.  Little did I know, Tyler wasn’t an employee of Mosaic, but someone we supported.

Thanks to my own ignorance, I had the unique opportunity to observe one of the talented and hardworking people we support from a totally unbiased view.

I got to see him just as I want everyone else to see him – capable, talented and hard working.

I wasn’t the only person who noticed – Crossroads did as well and hired Tyler to work for them.

Today, Tyler helps people experiencing homelessness. He now lives in his own apartment, with support from Mosaic.

One stereotype that we fight at Mosaic is that people with disabilities aren’t able to work.

Because of this stereotype and other factors, more than 60% of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who want to work are unemployed or underemployed.

I’d like to say that Tyler’s success is solely because of Mosaic’s bold partnership with Crossroads, but all of the credit should go to Tyler’s hard work and grit.

As qualified workers become harder to find in today’s business world, an increasing number of employers are turning to non-traditional sources of labor, including people with disabilities – the fastest growing segment and most widely overlooked, employable minority of our population.

This month is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Throughout the month, Mosaic will be engaging in a variety of activities to educate community members and business owners on disability employment issues and its commitment to an inclusive work culture.

I hope you’ll join us in learning more about how bold partnerships like ours with Tyler and Crossroads benefit everyone involved.

Jeff Kingsley is the community relations manager at Mosaic in Central Nebraska. If you’re interested in finding great employees like Tyler, contact us.

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