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.



Job seeker: Amanda Smith

Meet one of our newest job seekers; Amanda. She is interested in finding a job where she can learn new things and make a living for herself. Amanda would like to find work that entails working with animals, or stocking, cleaning, customer service,…actually she is interested in just about anything, where she can learn and grow and made to feel a part of the team.

This young woman feels that she  has the skills to; stock shelves, wash dishes, clean office spaces or clean up after animals. Amanda says that [she] “just wants to work and I’ll do just about anything.”

Amanda loves animals, especially her dog Banshee. She has been volunteering at the 1st Avenue Animal Shelter for a little over a  year now as part of her work study in the Community Living Program during the school year. She also willingly volunteered during the summer last year, just because she likes being around the animals so much.

Could you use someone like Amanda in your business or know of a place that would make a good first job for her? Can you think of a way to create a place in your work site that could accomodate Amanda and her abilities? Contact her job developer; Lorie Polk at

Amanda Hired

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!

Job Seeker: Barbie Bodin

Barbie is a peppy woman who is eager to put her 4 years of dishwashing experience to use. Barbie worked at Mackinaw’s Restaurant in Washington prior to moving to Springfield. She washed dishes, did some light food prep and cleaned floors while working at Mackinaw’s. When asked what she liked about that job, Barbie responded with “It was easy, I loved doing it, it’s Fun! I like to get it done.”

Barbie says that she is very positive- “I always see the good side”, organized-“I keep all my things in their place”, and a hard worker- ” I just want the job done. I don’t mess around. I’ll do what needs to be done without attitude.”

Barbie has an updated Oregon food handlers’ card and is ready to get to work when she isn’t out hitting the pavement looking for work on her own or with her job developer, Barbie is volunteering at the United Methodist Church, serving food to the homeless.

If you feel that you have room for this outgoing, hardworking, go-getter on your team give Doris Steele a call at (541)484.4666 or email her;



Allen Quinn Video Resume

We’ve introduced Allen previously (May 6th, 2015 post), but take a look at his video resume, where he shows his zest for life, along with his varied interests and abilities.

This is a man who has enjoyed life by volunteering his time to contribute to his community, as well as being a family man by taking an active role in raising his two sons. Allen would like to extend his involvement in the community to include re-entering the working world again.

Allen dreams of making a difference and perhaps even making a little extra money to fund some of the things he likes doing, like; horseback riding, going camping, attending UO games and working on his recumbent trike.

Allen LOVES interacting with people and would love to find a part-time job where he can be comfortable exchanging playful and witty conversations, being of service and making a difference. We’re hoping that after seeing all of the things that Allen can do, on his video resume, someone will come to the realization that they can’t go another day without asking him to join their team. Don’t hesitate to give us a call and schedule an interview today…we’ll be waiting.



Jobseeker: Allen Quinn


Meet Allen Quinn. He is no stranger to work; in fact, Allen worked in the warehouse of Troutman’s Emporium department store for 8 years, until they went out of business. Since then, Allen has been very active in his children’s lives, and as a volunteer in his local community. He spent some time on the Board of Directors for the organization Big Brothers Big Sisters, and mentored youth as a big brother himself; he also tutored math and reading while his boys were attending school.  Most recently, Allen has volunteered for the Thurston Boosters’ concessions stand during football and basketball seasons. Allen states that he loves, “interacting with people and volunteering my time and giving back to my community.”

Now that his children have grown up, Allen feels that it is time to move on and find work that is interesting, stimulating and utilizes his natural outgoing personality. He always tries to maintain a positive attitude and often encourages those around him to do so as well. “Having six older siblings, I learned quickly how to communicate effectively. I enjoy talking and interacting with people from different backgrounds and I’m not shy to start a conversation.”

Allen’s dream is to find work that involves driving, people and customer service.  He hopes to find a place of employment where he is able to take part in a cooperative working atmosphere and be able to contribute to the workplace’s common goal.

When Allen isn’t out searching for work he enjoys playing board games with his family, walking his two dogs, riding his recumbent tricycle and attending UO duck games.

If you’re interested in learning more about Allen or considering how you can assist him with his job search, contact Lorie Polk, his job developer, at .

Allen Hired

NBC Nightly News spotlight on inclusive employment

NBC Nightly News recently broadcast a story about The Prospector Theater, a movie house in Ridgefield, Connecticut that employs 80 people–most of whom happen to experience some sort of disability.  Here’s a link to the video:–jobs-404479043807



Pretty amazing, right?  If you’d like to see more, The Prospector’s own site has an incredible collection of employment success story videos, and they’re definitely worth a watch.  Here’s a link:

The Prospector offers its employees an opportunity to build skills and gain experience, but it also gives them something many of us may take for granted: the chance to define themselves by their abilities, and to do so within the day-to-day activity of their community.

We’ve seen great examples of businesses like The Prospector in other industries, too–for instance, Portland’s Happy Cup Coffee Company (, and Eugene’s own Reality Kitchen (  Have an idea about somewhere else you could see a program like this working in our community?  Let’s talk!  Start a conversation with us in the comments section, or email us at

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!