Pearl Buck Center: out in the com-munity

Did you know that Pearl Buck Center has been finding and securing jobs for people with disabilities for over 27 years?

Here are a couple of our past community employment public service announcements, perhaps you remember seeing them in the past or have spotted these smiling faces about town.



Doing Good, because it’s Good for Business


The job developers at Pearl Buck Center are out in the community approaching businesses to take a look at what they do and help them assess whether there is a place in their company for one or more of our job seekers. And we usually can find a good fit for everyone.

The bigger question is whether it makes sense for the business to take on one of our clients. We usually find that with willingness, the right fit, perhaps some minor adjustments or modifications, training and a little time it can and usually  does pay off in the end both for the employer and employee.

Take a look at a couple of well-known businesses that have found out what we already know to be true – ‘Doing good, IS good for business’. Mark Wafer, a Tim Horton franchise owner in Canada, has found that his employment turnover rate is lower than another franchise down the street from him. This, of course, saves him money in the long run.

And a Walgreens in Connecticut has hired 40% of it’s workforce from the disabled community and is one of the most profitable Walgreens Distribution Centers (DC’s) in the nation. Walgreens plans to model all of their DC’s after this one as a result.

Why? Because there is a “Return on Disability”, to coin a phrase from Rich Donovan, a business consultant with Cerebral Palsy who says that “It’s not about charity”, but rather “It all comes down to numbers and an observable measurement that nobody can dispute.”

If I haven’t fully piqued your interest or you still have some questions, here is another interview with Mark Wafer. His answers are very comprehensive and cover most areas of concern for business owners.

So as you can see, from a business standpoint, hiring employees with disabilities really makes dollars & sense. And what’s not to like about that! So give us a call and let us help you figure out how to make your business be more diverse and prosperous. Call Pearl Buck Center’s Employment Services, today at 541.484.4666 or email us at

We look forward to hearing from you.

What can YOU do?

What can you do?

It’s a simple question that can be answered in any number of ways. And yet it isn’t asked nearly enough in regards to people living with a disability and employment options. People experiencing disabilities can do much more than any of us often imagine, that is, when given the encouragement and opportunity to stretch themselves and learn. And this shouldn’t be much of a surprise given that is all any of us needs to succeed.

When those experiencing disabilities can live up to their true potential and actively pursue the jobs of their dreams and abilities, everybody wins.

What can you do?

When people are willing to become mentors and show others how to become better versions of themselves and learn what they’re good at, everybody wins.

What can you do?

When people who own or manage businesses take a leap of faith and challenge themselves by thinking outside the box to see where they can utilize the skills and abilities of people with a barrier to employment, everybody wins.

What can you do?

And when any of us really looks at another human being and recognizes and allows for the similarities AND the differences, we all win.

What can you do?

Everyone wins, because everyone is included and made to feel valued, important, needed, useful, involved and a part of something bigger than themselves.

We know that it isn’t always easy to figure out how to switch gears and try on a new way of thinking, that’s where we at Pearl Buck Center Community Employment Services can assist and guide you along the way. You don’t have to do this all alone, we’d be more than happy to help figure out how best to implement and utilize a new employee, how to go about mentoring someone who is interested in your field of work or find a place of employment that fits your abilities.

Who I Am Poster; Vander Cherry
Who I Am Poster; Vander Cherry

Check out The Campaign for Disability Employment Public Service Announcements asking this very same question…What Can YOU Do?

The Campaign for Disability Employment is a collaborative effort to promote positive employment outcomes for people with disabilities by encouraging employers and others to recognize the value and talent they bring to the workplace. In business, the investment that drives innovation is talent. The knowledge, skills and abilities employees bring to work each day are by far the assets that yield the most output over the long term. Whether good economic times or bad, it’s the organizations that know how to identify and recognize talent that are most likely to succeed. Through its national public education effort, What Can YOU Do?,The Campaign for Disability Employment reinforces that people with disabilities want to work and that their talents and abilities positively impact businesses both financially and organizationally

If after watching you are compelled to really investigate What can You do? contact Pearl Buck Center Community Employment Services and together we can figure it out. []




Employment Success! On the job with Kang Eui Hong

In May, we introduced you to Kang Eui Hong, who sought an opportunity to stock shelves.  Today, we’re thrilled to post an update: in August, Kang Eui successfully landed a job with a local Dari Mart in Coburg, Oregon.

Kang Eui’s manager hired him to help keep Dari Mart’s coolers stocked during the busiest part of the day.  In preparation, Pearl Buck’s employment consultant worked closely with Kang Eui and his manager to design Kang Eui’s shift, so that that both he and Dari Mart were set up for success.  From there, it was up to Kang Eui–and from the very first shift, it was clear that Kang Eui planned to give this job his 100%.


Kang Eui approached stocking with consistent hard work, thoroughness, and attention to detail.  He quickly mastered the basics of the task, and then began working with his Pearl Buck job support staff to improve his speed and efficiency.  It soon became clear that Kang Eui was ready to take on some new responsibilities; within a few months, his manager added bagging ice to his daily routine.


Soon, Kang Eui will celebrate three months of successful employment.   His manager reports that his work is excellent, and recently added five more hours per week to his schedule.  We look forward to watching Kang Eui continue to grow, thrive, and turn this opportunity into a success story for everyone involved.

Want to congratulate Kang Eui?   Give it up in the comments below!

A Letter from our newest Business Partner


We are so excited about our newest partnership with the South Hills Center located in the Tamarack Building and so are they! Here is a letter that was sent out to their community.

Hi Folks,

This week begins a partnership with Pearl Buck Center to provide janitorial staffing at South Hills Center [at the Tamarack Building].

Their mission:

“Pearl Buck Center offers people with disabilities and their families quality choices and supports to achieve their goals.”

We are happy to welcome Cody Grimes and staffing coach Linda Cox to the SHC Community.

Cody and Linda

Cody is originally from Chicago and moved to the Eugene-Springfield area about four years ago. He has been working at the Pearl Buck production facility for the last 1.5 years and also has experience working at a local auto-body shop. He is a Duck fan and a Dallas Cowboy fan. He’ll be working evenings after the last yoga class ends on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights.

Linda will be offering coaching assistance for Cody while he works. She is a Job Developer at Pearl Buck Center working with a variety of different people in the program. She was born in Springfield and has lived here most of her life. Linda has a daughter and a 5 year old grandson. She’s a Duck fan, enjoys crafting and worked previously at H&R Block for about 10 years.

Thanks for being part of the team Cody & Linda! The work you do is important for keeping this facility available for all the many people we serve.

Welcome aboard!


Rozek & Daggett, LLC • Coaching • Consulting • Workshops •

South Hills Center, LLC • General Manager •

Mail: PO Box 518, Marcola, OR 97454 Cell541-912-4940 Desk541-484-6100

If you are interested in partnering up with Pearl Buck Center’s Employment Services, give us a call and let us know. We would welcome your interest and ideas.

Pearl Buck Center: Your Employ-ment Resource

Pearl Buck Center, Incorporated has been around for 60 years, yet it’s amazing that there are still many people who aren’t familiar with who we are or with some of what we do.

FullSizeRender (3)

So, we decided to make a short video, that hopefully will help shed some better light on the subject. And if after watching this presentation, you still have some questions, please don’t hesitate in contacting us. We would love to talk or better yet, give you a tour.


  1. a physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities.
    synonyms: handicap, disablement, incapacity, impairment, infirmity, defect,abnormality,…

    • a disadvantage or handicap, especially one imposed or recognized by the law.
      “he had to quit his job and go on disability”  or “she can’t work because of her disability

When you think of it, the Webster definition is limiting and implies that a person is incapable of doing much of anything, let alone working for a living. It is often through this filter or lens that we see people who are labeled – Disabled. This is perplexing, since nearly 1 in 5 ( that’s 45 million) Americans has a ‘disability’. The fact is people with disabilities are ordinary individuals striving to live ordinary lives, the same as anyone. Nearly half of us even know someone with a disability, and if you know someone who is labeled such, you know they’re so much more than the challenges they face. They’re our neighbors, our friends, our co-workers, and consumers; they’re also a significant portion of the nation’s unemployed, with great and diverse untapped potential.

“No disability or dictionary out there, is capable of clearly defining who we are as a person.”– Robert M Hensel

For over 60 years, Pearl Buck Center has supported individuals with disabilities to overcome barriers and achieve their goals.  Repeatedly, we have found that a community is always stronger when there’s a place for everyone to make positive contributions. We’re leading efforts to re-think how people with disabilities can strengthen our local business community. We believe that with the right planning and supports, everyone can work. And that’s because we recognize this crucial fact:

Businesses don’t employ people for their disability; they employ them for their abilities.

The challenge is that many people with disabilities may not match a standard job description preventing businesses from accessing real talents that are worth their investment. This is where Customized Employment comes in.

What is Customized Employment? The Oregon Department of Employment Policy defines it as such;

Customized employment is a flexible process designed to personalize the employment relationship between a job candidate and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both. It is based on an individualized match between the strengths, conditions, and interests of a job candidate and the identified business needs of an employer. Customized Employment utilizes an individualized approach to employment planning and job development — one person at a time . . . one employer at a time. Customized employment will often take the form of:

  • Task reassignment: Some of the job tasks of incumbent workers are reassigned to a new employee. This reassignment allows the incumbent worker to focus on the critical functions of his/her job (i.e., primary job responsibilities) and complete more of the central work of the job. Task reassignment typically takes the form of job creation, whereby a new job description is negotiated based on current, unmet workplace needs.
  • Job carving: An existing job description is modified — containing one or more, but not all, of the tasks from the original job description.
  • Job sharing: Two or more people share the tasks and responsibilities of a job based on each other’s strengths.

‘We all customize our jobs, however, the typical job-seeker customizes after being hired and many people with significant disabilities will succeed only if the customization occurs prior to beginning work’ -Griffin Hamm

It really doesn’t take much to customize a job to fit the needs of a potential employee or the needs of an employer. Often it just takes thinking outside the box and getting creative. Perhaps even thinking how to improve a business’s bottom line, by taking some of the more mundane or simple tasks from experienced workers, freeing up their time to tackle what they are really being paid to accomplish and giving those extra bothersome or repetitive tasks to someone who is only seeking a few hours a day.

People with disabilities desire to be part of the mainstream workforce, working alongside people in their communities. When businesses hire people with disabilities, the benefit shows up on their bottom line and in improvements in the culture and the personality of their business. This is true for small businesses as well as large national corporations. In fact, it holds true for all industries – from services to manufacturing. We all share in the responsibility to move ahead – it is a journey that business, government, agencies, and families are going to need to travel together.

Employing people with disabilities is not only the right thing to do, it makes good business sense. Together, we can make a difference so that individuals with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else.

And with the prevailing winds of change, perhaps it’s time to change the definition of disability to;


1.  The inability to see ability in another being.

Intriguing Statistics

We made this little video to share some interesting and informative employment statistics…and we’re positive that you will find the information to be thought provoking . Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Michael’s story: a graphic novel

Our community employment team is in the process of revamping our promotional materials. Here is the second brochure in a series of three. We know, we started in the middle – just like Star Wars,…this is going to be epic!

Let us know what you think in the comments. Enjoy!

~ “The Job Squad”

Employment Success Story: Togo’s Sandwiches

Our friends at KEZI recently aired a story profiling some of Pearl Buck’s successful partnerships with local businesses.  If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s definitely worth a watch.

Here’s a link to the full story, on the KEZI site:

Togo’s Sandwiches is one of the businesses featured in that video, and lobby attendants Paul Koerner and Sheri Clack are a major part of what’s made our partnership with them such a success.  Both add real value to Togo’s business by offering stellar customer service, improving operational efficiency, and contributing to positive overall workplace morale.  Togo’s manager Lionel Jeffery sat down with us a few months ago for a brief interview about his experience working with Paul and Pearl Buck:

Lionel collaborated with Pearl Buck’s community employment program to match Togo’s needs with Paul and Sheri’s strengths.  We believe in this custom-fit employment model because we’ve seen it work time and again, in a diverse variety of industries.  If you’re interested in learning more, please get in touch; our community employment team would be happy to tell you more about what we do, and how you can get involved.  We’ll be introducing the team over the next several monthly posts, so stay tuned!