Disability – when it affects us – is usually not a one-time event in our lives. It is a journey – often with bumps and set-backs along the way. William Myers, 44, a General Maintenance Worker at PRIDE Industries’ Fort Polk, LA contract, is determined not to let those slow him down. He shares his story below.
In 2005, William had his right leg amputated, an experience that changed the course of his life. Recovery was not easy. He was no longer able to work in physically-demanding fields such as roofing and carpentry where he once excelled. In 2011, William lost his job and spent 2.5 years unemployed, searching and receiving social security benefits. During this time, William struggled to provide for his family – an experience that affected his sense of self-worth. Despite his tireless efforts to land a job, William was unable to find any job as employers focused on his disability instead of his potential.
In 2013, William connected with PRIDE Industries and got the break he needed. William began working as a Grounds Maintenance Laborer on PRIDE’s contract providing base wide operating support services to Fort Polk, LA. He quickly excelled, earning a promotion to Maintenance Trades Helper in the HVAC shop. Life was good, and things were going his way until he suffered a medical complication which required surgery. In April 2014, William had to take a leave of absence from work to recover. For many, this second blow might mean a return to long-term unemployment. However, following his recovery, William was able to return to PRIDE. Today he is a General Maintenance Worker in the interior electric shop.
“Since working for PRIDE, my financial situation has improved significantly,” William says. Having a job is about more than a paycheck for him. Working at PRIDE Industries has improved his confidence, self-esteem, and helped William to be self-sufficient once again. Most importantly, he can provide a better life for his two-year-old daughter. That, to William, is priceless. His daughter is his biggest motivation and the reason he gives 110% on the job and in life. William is currently saving to buy a home and to set up a college fund for her.
PRIDE’s rehabilitation counselors at Fort Polk attest to William’s dedication on the job and in overcoming challenges. Customers and military personnel at the base notice William’s work ethic as well. “PRIDE has helped me gain confidence and pride in myself,” says William. “I am a true believer in PRIDE’s mission!”
Individuals like William inspire us; we are glad that he is part of the PRIDE Industries family.