Paying it Forward

PRIDE Employee with loaner tools

Christopher Hines, PRIDE Employee at Ft. Polk, LA

At PRIDE Industries, we have a mission to create jobs for people with disabilities in our own businesses, or by partnering with others.

Christopher Hines was hired to work on PRIDE’s facilities support contract at Ft. Polk in Louisiana.   Most individuals working in the trades have equipped themselves with their own tools and take great pride in their personal collections.  For many individuals with disabilities, the lack of tools is one more hurdle to employment.  In addition to the training and supports PRIDE Industries provides to individuals with disabilities, PRIDE provides Loaner Tool Kits, purchased using generous donations given to PRIDE Industries Foundation.

Chris began as a Grounds Maintenance Laborer. He was presented with a Loaner Tool Kit on October 13, 2011.  With his first paycheck he began purchasing new tools to build his personal set, a few tools every payday. He completed his personal tool kit and proudly returned the Loaner Tool Kit on November 14, 2011, only 32 days later.  Chris was the latest recipient of the tools, and the first to return the kit.  “He couldn’t wait to tell me that he had all his tools,” says Training Representative, Lavell Martin. “I wish you could have seen the ‘pride’ (no pun intended) in his eyes when I told him he was the last to get a kit and the first to return it!”

Chris recently landed a Maintenance Trades Helper position in the plumbing shop.  He works at the swimming pool helping to maintain the water and equipment, and has begun to learn how to repair pipes and fixtures.  His shop loves working with Chris, and his shop manager, Malcolm Lyde says that he has a bright future.

“The more progress I see in Chris, the more confidence I see in him,” says Martin.  “He is even looking into getting an apartment and moving out of his parent’s house. He is becoming more and more independent every day. Without a doubt, Chris is the perfect example of the success we strive for with our employees and reminds us of why we do what we do.”

Want to help individuals with disabilities like Chris succeed in employment? Make a gift to PRIDE Industries Foundation online at

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