The Graduate: Winning at Life - The Old East Village Grocer

The Graduate: Winning at Life

The Graduate StoryWhen Jon Adlington comes back to the Old East Village Grocer for a visit, his former colleagues gather ‘round to hear tales from his new job. A natural storyteller and a charmer through and through, Jon’s been a winner all his life – in school, in the Special Olympics, and in work. But after studying business purchasing at Fanshawe College, he still found it hard to get meaningful work, and so he joined the Retail Training Program offered by ATN Access for Persons with Disabilities. He says it was a great reminder of things he’d learned at work and in school. “By refreshing your mind with these basic skills, you can focus on what retail is all about — customer service. This is something they stress at the Old East Village Grocer and I always keep it in mind.”

While Jon was in the class, ATN was opening its social enterprise grocery store. Working with ATN employment specialists to get Jon back to work, store managers Matt Swenson and Paul Seale offered him a part-time position. “Everything I did there — cash, receiving, inventory, deli — was designed by Matt and Paul to make sure I would get all the skills I needed to be employed.” And it worked. Jon quickly landed a job at Home Depot.

“ATN changed my life. I tried a lot of different employment agencies, but none of them stick by you once you find a job. ATN always offers assistance, whether you’ve been at a job for 1 month or a year.”

Jon continues to work at Home Depot, learning different departments, and hoping to break into management. With his knowledge, his skills, his support network, and his winning smile, it shouldn’t take long.