A strong work ethic is a difficult trait to teach. For Erin, hard work and perseverance come naturally.
A big movie fan since childhood, Erin dreamed of working in a theater but worried his disability would stand in the way. He could have viewed his disability as an insurmountable obstacle and just given up. However, Erin met the challenge head-on and got his wish: a permanent job in the kitchen of the newly built Majestic Theater. Erin has Asperger’s Syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, which can lead to obsessive routines, deficiencies in social skills, and difficulties with change or transitions. An individual with the condition often are usually sensitive to sounds or lights no one else seems to hear or see. To others, he may appear to be acting strange or erratic.
When Erin first started at the Majestic, he had a difficult time due to his symptoms and challenges. The busy environment and smells from leftover food triggered anxiety and led to loud outbursts. But with personal coaching from the Vocational Development staff at Pantheon Industries, Erin has learned to work effectively in a bustling environment. For example, Erin and his vocational training team together created a series of motivational reminder cards to make the everyday demands of the job feel less overwhelming and more manageable. They devised a system to keep dishes and his work area organized. And thanks to a presentation made by Pantheon Industries about Asperger’s Syndrome to his co-workers, Erin reports that people accept his condition and no longer are frightened by his behavior. Not only did Erin reach his 90-day employment goal, but he has also been offered regular employment. Together, Erin and his vocational training team made sure he could achieve his dream. Erin’s success resonates through the respect he has earned from his colleagues and managers. According to the head chef and Majestic Theater kitchen supervisor, Erin has been an invaluable employee. “He’s a fantastic worker. He always gets his job done and gets along with everyone in the kitchen. Best of all, he’s one of the nicest guys you could ever meet.”
The staff at Pantheon Industries are proud of Erin’s accomplishments. He is a true success story. Erin is living proof that there is no substitute for hard work!