Joey Found Independence through his Skilled Trade Career

Joseph “Joey” Hughes is a young man who recently graduated from the Manufacturing Program at the Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center in Fishersville, Virginia.  The staff at WWRC set Joey up with a job interview at an innovative company that constructs metal office furniture in Verona.  Throughout the years, this company has also specialized in making aluminum telephone booths, step ladders, and racks and they currently research, develop and produce heat exchangers.  After his interview, he got the job and set forth on his new career. Anxious at first, with some encouragement, guidance, and support Joey has come a long way! 

To Joey, his new job was as exciting as it was demanding; his duties include assembling, disassembling, and testing the heat exchangers which is skilled work.  One needs to have a keen eye for detail and the ability to use power tools on a daily basis.  David, his counselor at The Choice Group worked with him for a full month at the job.  Working through steps of what to do when he encountered a problem, helping him understand his duties and the employer's expectations, the importance of patience in learning new tasks.  Joey stands tall and takes pride in what he does at Provides.  He currently works full-time with benefits and great pay!

“I love it here,” Joey said about his job. "I want to work for [my company] until I am 60 or 70 years old!”

Joey’s family lives over an hour away, so he decided to move to Verona where he could be closer to work.  This was a gigantic step for him.  With some assistance from David, he was able to find a one bedroom apartment without a cosigner and all utilities included that is less than ten minutes from work.  In addition to training on the job, David also worked with Joey in Community Support Services where he assisted him in opening a bank account (checking and savings), budgeting, learning how to track his bills and pay his rent, finding a church of his choice in the area, teaching him about proper nutrition, reading labels, and paying attention to expiration dates.  David also helped him learn to cook simple meals and says they have done steak, pasta with meat sauce, and ground beef tacos so far!

 Joey owns a car and drives to work daily.  He said that the work is hard but rewarding at the same time and that all his coworkers have all been fantastic.  They have provided a nurturing and supportive environment for Joey and have given full access to the job coaching staff to be able to assist Joey in any way.  Joey is currently working independently and no longer requires follow along services.  His dedication, commitment, and charisma will take him far at work and in life.  Hats off to this young man’s success!


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