“Take Your Legislator to Work” Spotlights Benefits of Hiring Individuals with Disabilities
Lakeland Care member Wayne Bonfigt was joined by State Senator Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) and State Representative Paul Tittl (R-Manitowoc) at Manitowoc’s A&W Restaurant in the statewide Take Your Legislator to Work Campaign on April 3. The Take Your Legislator to Work campaign is coordinated by the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities to highlight the many ways that employing people with disabilities strengthens the workforce and community.
Wayne has been employed with A&W for almost a year. He starts his shift before the restaurant opens and sweeps and mops the floors, cleans the bathrooms, and wipes down tables and menus. Nick Stangel, A&W general manager stated, “I enjoy having Wayne work for me and enjoy teaching new things to Wayne. I care for people who have disabilities and it makes me feel good being able to help them.” Stangel went on to say, “It’s amazing to see Wayne’s progress with his communication – he really has opened up since first starting at A&W.”
Wayne enjoys working out in the community and he often jokes around with his co-workers. Wayne’s job coach, Sue Fink from Curative Connections, says “Wayne has blossomed so much since he started working at A&W. His communication skills greatly improved and he opens up once he gets to know you.” Wayne would rather work than sit still. Fink said, “Wayne enjoys getting feedback on how he’s doing and frequently says “How’s that?” To help Wayne learn the job, a photo book was created for him to follow of him doing the tasks. This also helps him understand his tasks. Fink stated, “Wayne loves working for Nick. They tease each other back and forth and they have a great connection.”
Senator LeMahieu said, “It’s great to see all the services provided to keep individuals with disabilities active in the community and glad I was able to be part of Take Your Legislator to Work campaign.” Representative Tittl added, “It’s great to provide people with disabilities like Wayne the opportunity to work out in the community, and I appreciate how A&W values Wayne.”
To learn more about the Take Your Legislator to Work campaign, visit www.wi-bpdd.org.