Feedback: April 2023

by Kendra Eberhart, Angela Homco, Robert Smith

Q: You’ve included intellectually challenged individuals in your workforce. What are some of the highlights of the experience? 

Kendra Eberhart 

President and CEO
Royal Oaks
Sector: Senior Living

The One Step Beyond participants who have been assigned to Royal Oaks are a delightful group of people who have filled a critical role in our food service department. They are hard workers with a good work ethic, have great attitudes and are very friendly. 

Our Royal Oaks staff and residents love them and have welcomed them to our campus with open arms. 

They receive lots of kudos from our residents through the “Pat on the Back” program that recognizes a job well done. 

It is a pleasure working with One Step Beyond.   

Royal Oaks is a nonprofit Life Plan Community promoting healthy, engaging activities, inspiring experiences and meaningful, holistic approaches to living. Everything we do is designed to support the highest degree of wellness and life satisfaction for each of our residents. Residents are comforted by our strong financial standing and our nonprofit status assuring them of a home for life. This promise is backed by the People of Faith Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization whose purpose is to provide financial assistance to the residents of Royal Oaks through faith-based donations. 

Angela Homco

General Manager
Sector: Parts & Equipment Repair

The first thing that comes to mind is how reliable and hard-working the individuals are. They take great pride in making sure the work they put out is pristine and exactly what our customers order. Their job coach is incredibly supportive of all the work they do. One Step Beyond participants are eager to work and perform what we consider a critical job here at BWParts. 

OSBI participants work two to three days a week for four to six hours a day assembling spark plug kits, company-made toggle switches, wiring harnesses, nut/bolt combo packaging and other things for welding machines. 

I’m glad we’re able to include people with disabilities in the workforce. These individuals are an integral part of our manufacturing and parts departments. While some people may overlook these individuals, I’m glad they are a part of our workforce and that we’re able to provide a role that enables them to be independent. They are an essential part of our operations and have become a part of our BWParts family.

General Manager Angela Homco has been with BWParts for nearly 16 years. Her hard work and dedication helped grow her family’s organization to be the leading provider of mechanical, electrical and custom welder parts in the United States. A Phoenix native, Homco enjoys dabbling in interior design, painting, travel and spending time with her family and brother-in-law with Down Syndrome. 

Robert Smith

Customer Relations Manager
Larry H. Miller Hyundai Genesis Peoria
Sector: Automobile Sales

Hiring intellectually challenged individuals has been an incredible experience for our Larry H. Miller Hyundai Genesis Peoria Dealership. We are proud to be an inclusive workplace that values diversity and understands the unique talents and capabilities of every employee and guest who we come in contact with on a daily basis. 

Working with disabled workers has taught us invaluable lessons about patience, compassion and dedication. These individuals are hardworking, committed and eager to learn, and they have brought a new level of energy and positivity to our team. 

Not only have they made significant contributions to our business, but they have also become an essential part of our dealership’s culture. We believe that everyone deserves a fair chance to showcase their skills, and we are honored to provide this opportunity to disabled workers. Everyone deserves the ability to be seen and heard.  

Robert Smith has been the customer relations manager at Larry H. Miller Hyundai Genesis Peoria since 2017. He also is the Greater Phoenix Larry H. Miller Dealerships Charities Cares Council Chair since 2020. Smith was awarded the Larry H. & Gail Miller Outstanding Employee for 2021. His passion and dedication to making sure everyone around lives their fullest and best life possible is unbeatable. 

[Editor’s note: Respondents this month all worked with One Step Beyond for employment opportunities. See “Expanding Workforce Development” for more about OSBI and other organizations improving workforce development for disabled and underrepresented populations.] 

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