A disability left Jacson Moore unemployed for thee months. “I was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosis at a young age,” he said. The condition caused his night and peripheral vision to decrease over time. In 2007, after ten years of working as a forklift operator, he had to leave the job and live on disability payments. That routine got old. “I was bored and ready to get to work.”
Turning to Goodwill
Jacson visited the Georgia Department of Labor, and was referred to Goodwill’s Ticket to Work program. Ticket to Work helps people who receive Social Security benefits transition into long-term employment and earn a living. After consulting with Goodwill’s TTW administrators, Moore entered our Floor Technology/Custodial program.
Jacson learned advanced cleaning techniques for all types of flooring and facilities. “I thought I knew how to clean when I came into the program,” he recalled. He quickly learned there was more to cleaning than most people think. For six weeks, he not only learned how to detail-clean, he also learned how to do so in an environmentally safe way.
Building a Better Life
After his training, Jacson was hired by The Royal Group – the company that cleans and maintains Zoo Atlanta. “Goodwill found me this job. All I had to do was show up to the interview and sell myself,” Jacson said. He works early hours and is typically off of work by the time it gets dark. Because of his visual impairment, he has mapped the zoo out in his mind. “I know this place like the back of my hand.”
What has Jacson learned in the past year? “I’ve learned that I am not as disabled as I thought I was.” He feels grateful that he is able to earn a living instead of receiving a free check and he sends these words of encouragement to youth who’ve been diagnosed with a disability: “Don’t let anyone convince you that you can’t do anything you want to do.”