At OSI, we strive to teach valuable vocational skills that could someday lead to competitive employment; skills such as production/assembly, community services and social interaction. Recently, for one individual, these learned skills are being put to good use in the community.
James “Jim” Gilles, a former member of the United States Navy, started at OSI in January 2014. During his time at OSI, Jim participated in both Prevocational Work (in-house) and Transitional Work. We found that Jim excelled while out in the community on Transitional Work, and especially enjoyed the fast paced environment and social interactions at Staples Fulfillment Center where OSI workers provide "value added" services.
In March 2016, an employment opportunity opened up at CJ’s Barbeque in Chambersburg. Considering CJ’s was practically in his front yard, Jim’s Program Specialist approached Jim with the idea of applying for the job. After some hesitation, Jim agreed to try a Community Work Based Assessment at CJ’s.
On March 23, 2016 Jim was officially hired by CJ’s barbeque! Should you visit CJ’s, you might see Jim washing dishes, slicing rolls, filling sauce containers, stocking refrigerators, mowing grass or stacking wood for the smoker. These, among other tasks, keep Jim busy throughout the day which he enjoys. Jim especially enjoys the independence he feels now that he has a job in the community and his own apartment.
Jim has put in a lot of hard work to be where he is today, and states that he learned a lot of the skills that he uses at CJ’s from his experiences at OSI. Thomas A. Edison once said, “There is no substitute for hard work.” Jim is a great example of where hard work can take you. The individuals and staff at OSI are incredibly proud of Jim’s progress, and wish him much success.