(Dis)abilities + Work + Beaverton = No Problem! Meet Brian Williams, Employed!

By Dirkse CC Team19 Brian Willams

Who doesn’t love pizza?

Brian Williams of Beaverton loves it so much he walks up and down the sidewalk enthusiastically waving the Round Table Pizza lunch special sign on 185th Avenue. He walks to his own beat as he enjoys his favorite musical artists like The Steve Miller Band and The Beatles. It’s a perfect match for Brian as an individual who struggles with communication due to a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Brian is obviously happy to be working, earning his own money and contributing to the business; but it took more than an application to help match him with the job.

The team that surrounded Brian and helped him reach his employment goal included his family, Special Education Teachers at The Beaverton Community Transition Program and the folks at Dirkse Counseling and Consulting, Inc. Dirkse CC is a partner and contracted vendor with The State of Oregon, Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. The entire group collaborated to identify Brian’s strengths, skills and interests and developed an attainable career goal with the philosophy that everyone who wants to work should be able to work, fully integrated in the community.

Business Development Manager, Cindy Bahl states “it’s our job to assess the needs of the business and to recommend and match those needs with the specific skill sets of our clients… A successful placement like Brian at Round Table Pizza, is a win-win for everyone.”

Manager Bob Rienzo shared that he has definitely seen an increase in his business since hiring Brian last year. Customers frequently tell him they came in for lunch because they saw the “sign holder” outside. “Brian is a bundle of happiness; consistently coming in with a smile… he makes everybody else happy!” Brian is supported on the job by a team of job coaches who provide him with the tools and supports he needs to be successful on the job.

For Brian this means encouragement to stay safe and aware of his surroundings on such a busy street and to keep on smiling, waving and moving to his beat; all for the love of pizza!

For more information on a business worksite assessment and how to integrate individuals who experience disabilities in to your workforce through supported employment, contact cindy@dirksecc.com