Finding jobs at Envision gave then Jacksonville, Illinois residents and childhood friends Greg Ketchum, Chad Morrison and Tameka Clark, all legally blind, the one thing they wanted more than anything else – opportunity.
“We don’t like depending on anybody for anything,” Chad said. “Back in Jacksonville we always said that we’re not looking for someone to make us rich, we just want the opportunity. We know we can work hard because that’s what Greg and I learned from our wrestling coach at the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired. Our coach taught us everything we know about fighting for what we need and want.”
Greg – labeled the “adventurous” one by Chad – was the first to take the 474-mile journey by train to Wichita in November 2015 to find out first-hand if everything he read and heard about Envision was true. It was, and the reality of full-time employment with room to grow prompted him to call his buddy Chad as soon as he could to share the good news. By March 1 of this year, Chad, Tameka and their three children were living in Wichita and, for the first time, were a two-income household.
“There’s breathing room now,” Chad said. “Before, I was in pretty bad shape. Between our Social Security and raising three kids, it was not working. Now, I can actually foresee my debts being paid.”
Greg, who started as a folder/picker in Manufacturing, was promoted on October 16 to a machine operator. Chad and Tameka maintain positions as folder/pickers. With all three taking full advantage of Envision’s Upward Mobility initiative, it’s only a matter of time before they take on new job titles.
For Greg, his biggest goal is to become a job recruiter for Envision.
Chad, who carries out his hobby of mixing music in his home studio, is preparing for a career in radio broadcasting at Q92 The Beat, either as on-air or voiceover talent.
Tameka hopes to become a full-time operator and eventually pursue a customer service job.
“I want to gain as much knowledge as I possibly can within the manufacturing department before moving into customer service to help me answer any and all questions customers may have about our products,” Tameka said. “To be a great representative, I feel it is important to understand how the product is manufactured and its capabilities.”
The significance of the events of the past year aren’t lost on Greg. He’s gone from someone who just wanted to get off disability to having fulfillment in all aspects of his life. As was the case for Chad and Tameka, Envision assisted Greg with finding a place to live when he arrived in Wichita and provided support during the transition.
“I like the freedom of knowing there are things to do here and activities to go to if I want to that are within walking distance or an Uber ride,” Greg said. “I like being able to call Chad and say ‘let’s go out to lunch at Applebees and not having to question if I can afford it.”
Greg, Chad and Tameka keep in touch with their circle of friends back in Illinois who are also visually impaired, keeping them up-to-date on their experiences and job openings at Envision. That means there’s potential to attract even more employees from the small town of Jacksonville who will be greeted by an enthusiastic welcoming committee when they arrive.
If you would like more information about Envision’s Upward Mobility initiative, please contact Employment Manager Robin Stewart by email at email@example.com or call 316-425-7287.