Paul's Success Story

After thirty years in the tool making business, two successful careers working for others and one as the owner of his own business, Paul never thought he'd be standing at the doors of Goodwill Industries of RI. Now legally blind due to an ischemic optic neuropathy, more commonly known as a stroke behind his eyes, Paul put his tool making days behind him. He couldn't imagine he could ever work in the tool making industry again. Understandably, Paul's confidence and his thoughts about future employment prospects were at an all-time low.

When Paul arrived at Goodwill he hoped to find a part-time job that could potentially lead to full-time employment. While he still had an interest in the manufacturing field he wasn't sure it was a realistic option due to his visual impairment as well as the shrinking demand for tool makers. Additionally, Paul's experience with adaptive equipment was limited and he expressed that he didn't think using it would help. With the encouragement of his case manager, Denise Doktor, Paul slowly became more comfortable utilizing the adaptive equipment needed to help him through his program. After Paul completed the first phase of service, the vocational evaluation, he then moved to the E-waste training to learn how to work with his visual impairment. While E-waste training may have been very different than Paul's goal of tool making, Paul really needed to boost his confidence as well as experience success in the workplace... E-waste was the right place to make that happen.

Paul's counselor from the Office of Rehabilitation Services, Jane Cannata, secured the adaptive equipment Paul needed to be successful in E-waste. Through that accommodation, the support of his case manager, and Paul's incredible work ethic, Paul successfully completed the second phase of Goodwill's service. The next step, however, would be more challenging as it was time for Paul to transition back into the workforce. Paul was assigned to Bob Lafond, Director of Employment Services, for job readiness and job development services.

Paul provided Bob with a list of his old contacts in the tool making industry. Paul was doubtful they would bear fruit as he was mindful of his visual impairment. What Paul didn't take into account was that the value he brought to a company was not necessarily linked to his ability to see, rather his ability to share his with others. Steve Fielding of Fielding Manufacturing interviewed Paul and told Bob Lafond, "My company will greatly benefit from that knowledge Paul has in his head." Paul was hired at Fielding Manufacturing as Steve knew of Paul's reputation and skill. It didn't take long before the staff shared that they were very satisfied and impressed with Paul's knowledge, work ethic and willingness to learn ... this was only after one week on the job!

Today, Paul remains successfully employed at Fielding Manufacturing. Through the support of Jane Cannata, who moved mountains to get the adaptive equipment needed to help Paul succeed; Bob Lafond, who appreciated the tremendous value Paul brought to an employer; Denise Doktor, who kept pushing Paul to try a little harder, and Paul himself, he has regained a life of independence in a career he loves. With Paul's remarkable success, it's easy to see why Goodwill "Believes in the Power of Work