(Dis)abilities + Work + Beaverton = No Problem! Meet Barrett Anderson, employed

By the Dirkse Team05 barrettandersen

When it comes to hiring new employees, Portland Badge owner Michael Carlson doesn’t see disabilities, he sees opportunities. A privately-owned company that creates name badges, business cards, signage and promotional products, Portland Badge is community focused. Finding qualified employees with an eye for detail is key to their success. Working with Cindy Bahl, Business Development Manager, and Employment Specialist Glenn Bishop from Dirkse Counseling and Consulting, Inc., Michael was offered a resource of qualified candidates to pull from.

Barrett Andersen has Autism Spectrum Disorder. In July of 2014, his employment team began working with Michael on a Community Based Assessment plan to see if his abilities would be a good match for Portland Badge. Barrett spent three weeks assessing his current skill levels and evaluating social and community elements of the job as well. The results – hired! They offered him a paid position that he holds today. In the initial stages, Dirkse CC provided job coaching during training and assessment. Today Barrett works independently, without the assistance of a job coach.

Michael’s open attitude has lead him to hire two employees through Dirkse CC. In one case, there was an existing position, and in the other a job was carved to fit the employee’s specific abilities.

“Barrett has a sixth sense with details,” says hiring manager Christy Turner. “He takes initiative.” It was his suggestion to play radio music to increase efficiency in the organization. Very punctual, he has the best attendance record in the company. Barrett loves working at Portland Badge. “It’s hard getting a job these days. Michael and Christy are very motivating. There is never a dull moment, and I am lucky to be working here and helping others.”

For more information about creating a diverse and inclusive workforce, please contact Cindy Bahl, at Dirkse Counseling and Consulting, Inc. 503-258-7715 or cindy@dirksecc.com