(Dis)abilities + Work + Beaverton = No Problem! Introducing Ryan Guthrie, Employed with the Portland Timbers!

By Dirkse CC Team

Have you ever been “Employee of The Month”?  Ryan Guthrie, a 21-year-old from Beaverton recently received that honor before he hit his 90-day mark; not many of us could achieve such accolades so quickly.  As a person with Down Syndrome, Ryan has overcome many barriers including finding his first job.  Once he was given the opportunity by The Portland Timbers, it was not hard for him to show his team that he was a friendly, reliable, and hard-working person; well-deserving of the honor.

After graduating from Westview High School in 2016, Ryan attended The Beaverton School District’s Community Transition Program (CTP) for 2 years and learned life skills that would assist him in his goal to work in the community.  Through a partnership with CTP, The State of Oregon, Vocational Rehabilitation and Dirkse Counseling and Consulting, Inc., Ryan met his career goal.  Senior Employment Specialist Glenn Bishop of Dirkse CC got to know Ryan, his skills, abilities and interests and approached the Timbers with the opportunity to consider Ryan for the Environmental Services Team.  As a sports enthusiast, Ryan participated in The Special Olympics, played baseball in the Little League Challenger program and was Team Manager for the Westview JV2 Boys Basketball team; plus, he actively follows basketball, football and NASCAR. The Timbers were a perfect fit for this sports-minded, motivated job-seeker.

Ryan works 2 days a week helping maintain the stadium; cleaning the locker room, press boxes and luxury boxes.  He especially enjoys the shifts that occur during actual game time when he happily picks up trash, cleans up spills and all with a smile as he enjoys the crowd.  Timbers Environmental Services Manager, Brian Kennedy shared “Ryan hits all of the qualities I look for in an employee; he shows up on time, interacts well with others, has a positive attitude and represents the Timbers well. He displays incredible work ethic and wants to learn more.  The Timbers benefit from his presence . . .  maybe more than he benefits from us.  He has a positive impact on my other employees, they are often more upbeat after working with him.”  It’s no wonder Ryan received Employee of The Month!

Ryan shared “I love being part of this team . . . my co-workers are nice, they made me part of the crew.”  Isn’t that what we all want?  To have purpose, be a part of a team in a positive environment and to make a difference with our work.  Because the Timbers were open and inclusive and gave Ryan the opportunity to join their team, everyone is a winner!

If you want to learn more about how you can become an inclusive employer and hire people with disabilities to meet your business needs, contact Business Development Manager, Cindy Bahl @ 503-258-7715 or cindy@dirksecc.com