Customized employment teaches Creston restaurant employee new skills

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Employee Robert Ganser at A Break in Time Caffé.

I am 52 years old. I am working for A Break in Time Caffé. The owners, Judy and Calvin Germann, have been really good to me. I was hired by them through Kootenay Employment Services with its customized employment program.

Having this job has given me a purpose. I was assigned a job coach; her name is Darla. She is really kind and helpful, and she helps me stay on track and get my job done. She helped me learn my job. She has taught me not to interrupt customers and to work quietly around them.

I am learning to stay on task and talk less. I am responsible for watering and taking care of the plants and flowers. I sweep, mop and take care of the patio. I also help with taking out the garbage, cardboard and recycling.

The Break in Time staff are really friendly and helpful and nice to me. If I need help at work, they help me. I have learned many new skills from working at Break in Time, like how to care for flowers, how to climb a stepladder, how to work with others, and how to work alone and on my own.

I want to thank Calvin and Judy for hiring me and being so good to me. I want to thank my caregiver, Cehlsey, and her family for taking care of me and driving me to and from work.

I want to challenge other local businesses to hire others that are on low income or disability. Living on low income makes it hard for me to be able to go on trips to see my family, buy gifts for people or go on my bowling team. Having my job at A Break in Time Caffé, I can make enough money to do those things.

—BY ROBERT GANSER

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