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: Lonnie Ofsthun

Lonny's Poster

Meet Lonnie a very dependable & determined guy who knows what he wants. Lonnie comes from a family of truck drivers and his dream is to one day get a Commercial Driver’s License. He is currently seeking a part/time driving position. He would like to get some more experience driving a large truck but will settle for any position that puts him in the driver’s seat.

Lonnie has been driving since 1987; he has a current noncommercial driver’s license with a farm endorsement, a clean driving record and recently passed a USDOT physical exam.

He has a history of longevity with past and present employers. Currently employed at Goodwill Industries since 2011 as Warehouse Assistant sorting donated clothing items. Prior to that, he worked at a Northwest Auto Auction driving vehicles to and from dealerships for 9 years. Before that he was cleaning stalls and operating a Bobcat at Eugene Live Stock for 7 Years. He also has some experience driving large farm trucks and trailers.

Work is very important to Lonnie, he shows up on time and ready to work each day. He says, he is at his best when he is behind the wheel. If you or someone you know is looking for a part time driver who is eager to learn, you can contact his job developer; Linda Cox at 541-337-9498 or by email at

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: 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.

recommended viewing

Of the many ways art can enrich our lives, perhaps its most universally significant gift is its profound capacity to create empathy between people from diverse circumstances.  And hey, who doesn’t enjoy kicking back with Netflix after a long day at work?  This week, we’d like to suggest checking out some films that’ll offer you the best of both: a nice opportunity to unwind, and a great chance to see the world from another person’s point of view, too.

First up on our list is “Temple Grandin,” a 2010 biographical film about the best-selling author, professor, livestock industry consultant, and autism advocate.  It’s reviewed here by Lorie Polk.

This biopic is an engaging and inspirational view of the challenging life of a woman with autism in the 1950 & 60s, Temple Grandin, portrayed by Claire Danes.

Back then, one of the prescriptions for autism lead the patient to being institutionalized.  In fact, that was even suggested to Temple’s mother, Eustacia Cutler.  Fortunately, Temple’s mother believed strongly in the possibility of her daughter leading a normal life…with natural supports as needed.

The film encourages people with challenges to overcome them and create the life they want. It also lovingly gives us an insight into Temple’s world–how she perceives her surroundings, and a little of how her mind works. Finally, the film celebrates all the people that supported her in achieving the successes she accomplished. Temple Grandin’s courage, intelligence and perseverance in the face of great odds reminds us all what we can do when we believe in ourselves.

For more perspectives on the experience of autism, the website Autism Speaks recommends the following five films, all currently streaming on Netflix:

Sounding the Alarm
Fly Away
Dad’s in Heaven with Nixon
A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism
The Story of Luke 

You can find trailers and brief synopses of each on the Autism Speaks site:

Lorie also recommends Door to Door, the true story of Bill Porter, a man with cerebral palsy determined to become a salesman.  It stars William H. Macy, and won numerous awards, including six Emmys and a Peabody.  Here’s a trailer:

Have a film recommendation to trade us?  Let’s hear it!  Share what you’ve got in the comments below.

Job developer profile: Lorie Polk

“If there is anything that [people] can do well, I say let them do it. Give them a chance.” -Abraham Lincoln

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

A big part of Lorie Polk’s work as a job developer is helping to train a job seeker once he or she is hired, and she loves it.  “Going into different workplaces and learning how they are run fascinates me,” Lorie says. Lorie trains with new employees for up to 90 days, gradually fading her training as the employee increases in independence and job skills. Lorie says she feels like she gains a whole new set of skills each time she coaches a new employee in a new work place. As Lorie’s skill set increases, she becomes more valuable to her new trainees, too.

But Lorie’s experiential base comes from more than her experiences as a job coach. Prior to her work with the Pearl Buck Center, Lorie also worked a multitude of different jobs, including positions as dental assistant, purchasing manager and visual merchandizer. She says that with the diverse jobs she has had, “assisting others to find work is kind of a natural choice.”

Employers with whom Lorie has placed job seekers include Purakal, a cylinder company, for the position of tool crib operator, detailed in the blog post dated May 12th, 2014; Gaviotas Painting, for the position of paint shop attendant; and the Sports Car Shop,  for the position of online sales/system developer.

Over the 4 years Lorie has been a job developer, she has been most proud when she has been able to match a job seeker with a job that has special appeal to him or her, an experience that has happened more than once or twice. When this has happened, she has seen her clients thrive on the job.  She says she’s also felt proud when leaders in the community “realize the importance of a diverse workplace and how hiring Pearl Buck Center job seekers can be an enhancement to their organization.” A great example, she says, is John Anderson, owner of Togo’s, a local sandwich shop, who says that hiring Pearl Buck Center job seekers is “good for business.” A Pearl Buck Center client now thrives at the shop as a customer greeter and lobby attendant, and Anderson has plans to hire another Pearl Buck Center client for his second store, Lorie says.  This particular client distinguished himself as having a genuine appeal for welcoming newcomers to the store, she says [for more detail, see our post on February 12th].

Lorie, who has 4 years of college education, enjoys cooking, reading, scrap booking, rubber stamping/card making and paper crafts. In addition, she enjoys hanging with her husband and daughter.

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!