Relationships built over time pay off for Edwards23-Feb-2010
Relationships built over time pay off for Edwards
Friday, February 12, 2010
Ian Edwards is pictured here with his mother, Cindy Edwards.
You can't turn on the television, talk to your neighbor, or even
balance your checkbook without being reminded of the slow economy. For
job hunters seeking opportunity in the midst of record unemployment,
there's plenty of "expert" advice out there.
But 23 year-old Ian Edwards could also teach them a thing or two about gaining job skills and connecting with people.
is an engaging, inquisitive young man who lives in Laconia with his
mom, Cindy. Ian graduated from Laconia High School in 2007. He has a
knack for electronics, but also loves machines — snowblowers, lawn
mowers — you name it.
"Ian's a very nice guy," said Charlie
Hughes, his resource coordinator at Lakes Region Community Services.
"He likes to work with his hands."
When Ian was a high school
student, he held several part-time jobs. LRCS became involved with Ian
a couple years before he turned 21 to help prepare him for the
transition from his school-based program to community-based supports
and services. He was participating in the agricultural program at
Winnisquam Regional High School and also did some cleaning and
vacuuming at a couple local businesses.
Then in June of 2008, he
started working for Community Connections, a job-training program
operated by Lakes Region Community Services that employs individuals
with developmental disabilities. The program, which offers services
such as lawn mowing, snow shoveling, maintenance, basement clean-outs
and moving, provides several LRCS consumers with part-time employment.
"That's where Ian started acquiring skills and learning to stay on task," said Hughes.
job coach who supported Ian in his part-time employment and other
agency staff like Jeff Gandolfi, who supervised Ian at Community
Connections, were all preparing him for some kind of future employment.
But it was Ian himself who many years before — thanks to his likable
personality and inquisitive nature — started developing relationships
that would eventually lead him to the job he has today.
home on Charles Street was adjacent to the former Laconia office of the
Fred Fuller Oil Co. When the tanker drivers were there, Ian would go
over to visit with them and ask them questions. He became friends with
them. After Ian's father unexpectedly passed away, his mother says the
manager there became a mentor to him.
In October of 2009, after
the company relocated to a larger facility on Primrose Drive, Ian was
offered a part-time maintenance job. He works four hours a day, Monday
through Friday. While he admits to being a little nervous his first day
on the job, Ian was quickly put at ease and says that he enjoys working
for and with people he already knows and likes.
What is his favorite part of the job?
"Running the snowblower," proclaims Ian.
since every day can't be a snow day, Ian's also on top of mopping the
floors, taking out the trash and generally keeping things clean.
works independently at the oil company, without support from agency
staff. When Ian's not working, he enjoys bowling, shopping, spending
time with his girlfriend, going to the gym and taking guitar lessons.
article was provided to the Citizen of Laconia by Lakes Region
Community Services. LRCS is the state designated Agency responsible for
supporting the needs of Lakes Region individuals and families living
with developmental disabilities and/or acquired brain disorders. For
more information on LRCS or to find out how you can support the Agency,
log on to the new LRCS website at www.lrcs.org or contact Shannon Kelly at 524-8811, ext. 192.