Bruce began receiving Employment Training Program services through Autism Services, Inc. in July 2018, and his first position was with the Buffalo Museum of Science, where Jerry Silvis, now COO of the Explore & More Children’s Museum, worked. When Mr. Silvis moved over to Explore & More to oversee their operations, he offered Bruce a job to come with him. Bruce started working part-time as a custodian and now works at the museum full-time. He loves his job and continues to receive excellent performance reviews.
Bruce says the things that make his job at Explore & More a perfect fit are the hours he works and the relationships he has developed. Bruce says the routine and schedule have made life easy for him and his Dad, who transports him to work every day. And he is grateful for his relationship with COO Jerry Silvis and Dan, the maintenance supervisor, who treat him like one of the team, including him in breaks and lunches, team meetings, and special events (birthdays, going away parties, etc.). It’s a supportive, nurturing environment that has helped Bruce develop strong connections.
“Bruce started with us providing him with a task checklist which he would complete daily,” says COO Jerry Silvis. “Through coaching, training, and thoughtful caring of us getting to know Bruce, he’s come full circle, is completely out of his shell, and now takes his own initiative to do tasks he knows need to be completed without using a check list. He talks regularly with staff, completes annual required trainings and evaluations, and enjoys joining in staff activities and meetings.”
Bruce has no plans to leave Explore & More. He is now thinking about learning to drive, something he would not have considered five years ago. Bruce’s job at Explore & More has helped him develop a sense of independence that will undoubtedly lead to more good things for him in the future.
For their part, Explore & More was recently honored by the Buffalo Common Council for their efforts in employing people with disabilities. Bruce received Council recognition along with his coworkers, Mina, Dylan, Craig, and Kaylee.
You can see the video here: https://youtu.be/rLsAVqSuODc