Growing Through the Continuum

Although he tried many times, Adam Frey, who lives with high-functioning autism, was unsuccessful in finding work on his own. 

In 2014, he was hired into BCI’s Organizational Employment program. As his confidence grew, so did his performance. By 2018, he was offered a staff position with BCI as a Quality Auditor. During these years, he met his girlfriend, Amber, earned his Missouri driver’s license, proposed, and bought his first home. 

When we opened the Skills Center in January 2019, Adam was one of the first students in the Salesforce program. He completed the training, passed his certification, completed an internship, and eventually accepted a full-time position with a downtown firm—and he and Amber were married. 

After his job was eliminated during the pandemic, Adam realized that he missed manufacturing and accepted a position with Skills Center vocational partner, True Manufacturing. Today, he works in inventory and is responsible for keeping accurate records for Buildings 3 and 4. He continues to make 2-second lean improvements and knows he must keep gaining experience in order to reach his goal of becoming a quality auditor—a goal that is completely within his reach. 

Adam’s story is one of amazing growth. The opportunities he was provided to work and train raised his skills and confidence and strengthened him mentally and physically. While his story had a twist or two, BCI’s employment continuum was there as a resource, and he is pressing on with a vision for his future—which is always a win.

New Career, New Freedom

Randy used to work just a few hours a week doing piecework with other people with disabilities—but he wanted to do more. He wanted his own full-time job out in the community. He wanted his own place and greater independence. Then he found the Skills Center’s True Manufacturing program. 

“I was nervous to work at True because it was my first real job. When I walked in for a tour, it was a big factory! But when I finished, I thought, ‘I’m going to like it here!'”

Randy joined the True team in 2019. Today, he’s proud that his supervisor Bruce named him “The Mayor of Wire Shelves”. He welds the shelves and moves them in and out of the oven. He also trains other people who come to work in his building. Bruce relies on Randy’s strong work ethic and leadership. 

“I’ve made some good friends at True,” he said. “They are funny. We joke around every day.” 

While Randy loves the salary and paid vacation, what he loves most about his job is the freedom it brings. He has his own place with his two nephews, one of whom also graduated from the Skills Center and works at True. 

“It was awesome to graduate, to accomplish something,” Randy said. “I’m really proud to be one of the first graduates of the Skills Center.”

Randy’s story is one of amazing determination—the desire to achieve a more independent life and the courage and confidence to make it happen.