I want to share an email from Pearl Buck Center’s Safety and Forklift Training Program Coordinator; Mark Marzullo. It’s a great example of what can happen when people are persistent and receptive and willing to think outside of the box (or perceived ability).
May 10, 2016
When I was approached by one of the Community Employment Specialists (Linda Cox) back in October of 2015 saying she had a VR client who was interested in learning how to operate a forklift having had no previous experience I was wondering how we could make that happen.
At the time we were buried in Production work and all staff were already working overtime. I told her we would need to find a window of opportunity and a month went by. I was asked again but still we were buried. I was skeptical we could pull this off and admittedly I did not push. A very wise man who just happens to be our COO and financial guru spoke with me about something that was still a new concept for me at the time. He said (loosely quoted), we are Pearl Buck Center, we are in the business of improving lives, helping people reach their goals. Make it happen, Mark!
I went to two very key experienced resources Will & Jon (Pearl Buck Center Production department heads). They truly understood the PBC Mission that I was still learning. Well, of course, we will find the time. Well, of course, we can make it happen. We are Pearl Buck Center. That’s what we do. Wow was I humbled. Next John Whalen- PBC Operations Specialist/Business Developer, gave his blessing for whatever resources were needed and on December 1, 2015, we started training Lonnie Ofsthun.
It was a slow process. At times, it did not go well. The pace seemed like two steps forward, one step back but all the while our staff never gave up. We solicited the help of Doug, another PBC Production staff, who was a prior VR client that came to the Community Employment Department seeking work, to lend his time and expertise. Doug helped bring us to the promised land with Lonnie and his training.
So here we are on 5-10-2016. We have completed our training and Lonnie successfully passed his practical evaluation. He now is certified through PBC as a Forklift Operator and Electric Pallet Jack Operator. Whether or not Lonnie ever gets a job using these skills will never take away the pure joy I saw in his eyes as shown in this photo.
That is what PBC is all about. Now more than ever…..I get it. Thanks to everyone who participated in this and for helping me grow as part of the PBC family.
Pearl Buck Center