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

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;



Job Seeker: Candace Hamilton

Meet Candace.

She is one our newest job seekers. Candace recently graduated from high school, and is currently participating in the 4J school district’s Community Living Program, where she is gaining work experience working at UO Hamilton Hall, performing,  food & customer service duties. She has done everything from, food prep to cash handling. She has even stepped in to fill a supervisory role amongst her peers.  Candace is excited to find her first paying job so she can venture out on her own and make her own way in life.

Candace dreams of someday attending cosmetology school, but until then she would like to work in a retail setting. Because Candace enjoys fashion she would like to find a job where she can help people make their apparel selections, or do some sort of retail job where she can be around people. Candace says that she really wants to be able to help people and make them happy. “I Just really like waiting on  people and helping them, it’s fun.”  She would also like to learn more about the customer service industry whether it is in clothing, food service or even in caregiving.  Candace feels that finding work where she is serving others would be a great place to build her skills.

When Candace isn’t in her classes with CLP she enjoys spending time hanging out with her friends at the mall, getting her nails done or playing basketball.

If you can see Candace working for you or know of someone who could benefit from employing her, please contact her job developer, Lorie Polk, at .


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!

Meet Wyatt! Video Resume

Wyatt photo

Wyatt is seeking employment in the Gaming, Food Service, General Labor or Production industries, where he can continue to gain knowledge and become a more versatile employee as well as gain the income needed to become an independent individual.