Creating Ripples


We talk a lot about hiring people with disabilities not just because it’s our mission and we believe it’s the right thing to do, but because we know from first-hand experience that it Works! All it takes is one small act of being willing to investigate what it will entail and how it might work for your organization. Before you know it you will have created a ripple effect.

Klynt started out in our production area where he worked in the Pearl Buck Center metal room then moved up to the janitorial crew, and then when he was ready he moved out into a community job working at Fuller Cabinet as a shop clean up person and now he is making cabinets.

James, came to us looking for work, we put him to work on our janitorial crew, where he has some responsibilities. He drives and often fills in at several locations and has also been doing temporary work in our postal department.

Aaron had been working at a pizza shop for quite a few years and wanted to do something different. We found a place for him on our janitorial crew where he is thriving, making friends and feels valued.

Lyndon had been working at Dari Mart for several years when it became too hard for him to keep up, but he wasn’t ready to retire so he came to our janitorial crew. and put in another few years before he retired.

Kelly came to us seeking work and we placed her in our very own Community Services department as an administrative assistant, where she has been challenged to learn and try new things.

Nicole, Molly, and Courtney all  were interested in child care. After doing assessments and showing that they could perform the job of Teacher’s assistant, the Pearl Buck Preschool hired them on.

Chris was desperate to find a job so he could support his daughter, we placed him in a dishwashing position with the now defunct Eagles Lodge on Irving Road. When he came back to us seeking work again, we put him to work as a delivery driver.

Julian was referred to us by Vocational Rehabilitation. We found him a community job, but after doing an assessment in our LEAP department it was clear that he has an aptitude with the people that we serve and we found him a place on our Community Placements team as well, working as a job coach.

So you can see we have hired people to fill a variety of positions within our very own walls, where they are working as part of a team, thriving, and earning a minimum wage paycheck. There are more individuals with disabilities on our payroll that I could list. Each person filling a real need that  Pearl Buck Center has experienced as a result of our continued growth

We have been successful in hiring people experiencing disabilities and have supported them to excel at the work that they do. This makes us better equipped to teach others on how to best implement people with disabilities into a workplace. We know first hand what it takes to succeed. Contact us, we can help you figure out how your business can do the same.  community.employment

You never know how one small act, of hiring someone with a disability can affect your community.



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: Kirk Hatalla

Kirk is a quiet young man who lives with his family in the outskirts of Springfield. He is interested in finding part-time work in either the  janitorial or production arena. His dream job would be working in housekeeping in a hotel.

Kirk has been working at Pearl Buck Center in the spice room packaging Red Ape products and has found that he really likes this type of work.

The main reason that Kirk is seeking work is to gain experience and earn some money, but mostly he wants to stay busy so as to not be bored. He feels that he is a hard worker, with the intent to do the best that he can to ensure that the job gets done. Kirk has enjoyed working alone in the past because it is less distracting, however, he has thrived working in the Pearl Buck Spice room with his co-workers, making friends and working hard to get the tasks completed.

If you feel that Kirk would fit in with your organization or know of a place that would benefit from having Kirk as an employee, please contact Doris Steele;

Kirk's PosterHired!

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.

Job seeker: Jamie Cavin


Jamie has student work study experience as a barista where he took orders, made and served coffee drinks, provided excellent customer service, and helped with clean up.

Jamie would like to find employment that entails working with his hands, organizing items, and/or working with the public. He has a penchant for organizing and enjoys repetitive, detailed hand work. “I would love to find a job in a warehouse doing detailed, production type work.”

Recently, Jamie has been working at Pearl Buck Center in the Production center where he has done pretty much everything, from running the CNC machine and cutting metal to packaging cereal and spices. He has shown that he is capable of being competitive, reliable, and a team player.

Jamie would make an awesome addition to any team where he could interact with the public, organize products, or produce detailed hand work. Possible job matches might include; car wash, small coffee cart, dry-cleaners, or warehouse. Maybe even as a shop clean-up assistant. With his wide range of skills and his willingness to learn new tasks, there are really very few limits to his abilities and interests in regards to work.

If you would like to put Jamie to work or know of someplace that would be interested in hiring Jamie, don’t hesitate in contacting his Job Developer via email at;

Jamie Hired

Edit: Jamie has been working for Mattress Mania since September 2015. He is enjoying working making some extra money, getting some fresh air and interacting with his co-workers and being in the community.

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.

On the Job with Community Employment

Keenan Toole

This week’s post is authored by contributor Clayton Cone.

For Keenan Toole, tool crib operator was a job he couldn’t pass up: it had good pay, good benefits and, as he would come to appreciate, good hours, at 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. He took the job, his first, and has worked at it since the fall of 2012.

Toole’s employment consultant, Lorie Polk, knew he liked working with tools, so when an advertisement for a shop position was posted on Craigslist, Polk asked Purakal, a Eugene-area manufacturer, for an interview. Purakal designs, constructs and repairs cylinders, some so big they operate the draw on a drawbridge. A tool crib operator tracks tools, sharpens drill bits and uses complex measuring devices, such as calipers.

Michael Bentley, Production Manager at Purakal, said that Polk was “instrumental” in the hiring process. She worked side-by-side with Toole 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and over the course of 4 weeks, a trial work-period that the Pearl Buck Center used for training. During that time, Bentley liked Toole’s work, so Purakal offered him the job.

Polk said Purakal employees taught her about the machines, tools and devices, and then she instructed Toole. After taking lots of notes, she made step-by-step written instructions based on what she was taught and what further instruction she was able to find online. She made 11 lists altogether, including a shop schedule. Lists covered how to sharpen a drill bit, how to dress a grinding stone and how to read calipers, among others.

Bentley said Polk also modeled a level of patience in working with Toole that Bentley and others at Purakal emulated.

Polk’s supervisor, Assistant Director of Adult Services Holly Powell said, “(Polk) is good at coming in and observing what can be done to make a person successful by adding a list or changing a routine.” She also said Polk is effective in both helping people get jobs and helping people keep them. Moreover, Polk, who has worked as an employment consultant with the Pearl Buck Center since 2008, can enlighten an employer as to how accommodations could enable a person with a disability to be hired on, Powell said.

Powell said Polk’s lists for Purakal were “simple and brilliant,” and they were necessary, as there was no manual to refer to.

Polk checked in with Bentley at the 6-month mark to see if any more training was needed and again at 1 year, but none was, Bentley said. Toole was working independently.

By April of 2014, Toole has had two pay raises—to $10.50 an hour, he said. Although he sharpened bits for nearly 1-1/2 years, he now disassembles cylinders, which sometimes weigh more than a car; and he cleans bathrooms, sweeps the warehouse floor and occasionally does yard work, for variety. Toole said he likes heavy-duty air tools, and he gets to use a torque gun in taking the cylinders apart. He likes his work.

Toole is finding his niche.

“He has been earning his keep, that’s for sure—and he’s pretty well liked,” said Bentley. “He’s a very productive guy.”

Toole has a future with Purakal.

“Our company has been very busy,” Bentley said. “We had a busy 2013, and we’re sure to have a busy 2014; and he is going to be a part of it.”

Purakal has been pleased with the Pearl Buck Center’s efforts.

“The whole thing went wonderfully,” Bentley said. “(The Pearl Buck Center) was able to come in and do the training, and we got a great guy out of it.”