Throughout high school, Antonio Madrid took vocational courses in electrical and carpentry maintenance trades. His father would take him to work with him in construction to build his skills with hands-on training. Antonio began looking for work after graduation, but it was a struggle. Despite his experience, he was unable to complete an application as a result of his disability. Before long, his lack of work history became another obstacle. PRIDE Industries is very familiar with this pattern. Without the supports needed to enter the workforce, the time out of work becomes a roadblock itself.
Antonio was referred to the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) in El Paso, Texas. DARS, in turn, referred Antonio to PRIDE at Ft. Bliss. Antonio Madrid joined PRIDE in August 2011 as a Grounds Maintenance Worker – his first regular job. Unfortunately, Antonio’s job was one of those impacted by the cuts imposed by Sequestration. He was part of a significant lay-off last spring.
As a result, Antonio once again sought work in construction with his father. Though better prepared as a result of his work with PRIDE, the work was intermittent and weather dependent. Each day was a new search and many days were disappointing. The lack of regular work left him financially dependent on his parents.
Thankfully, we were able to call Antonio back to work. His 40-hour work week has been restored, and he is regaining some financial independence. Antonio is excited and thankful to have his job back. He is a hard worker who enjoys supporting the Roads & Grounds team at Fort Bliss. He has seen how difficult it is for anyone – much less an individual with a disability – to find steady work, and he is grateful for the opportunity to work with PRIDE in support of the troops at Ft. Bliss.