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Empowerment Through Employment

If you ask what she thinks of her job, Natalie Davis would say, “I really enjoy it.” Natalie was recently hired by All American Clothing Company in Arcanum where she works in the warehouse supporting order fulfillment. Natalie’s job provides a variety of tasks in a team environment.

In October 2011, Natalie began her journey with the Community First Department (CF) of the Darke County Board of Developmental Disabilities. The CF department assists individuals with learning job skills, applying for jobs, and on-the-job training. Natalie successfully learned how to write a resume, gather references, and interview. She applied and interviewed for jobs with the CF department’s assistance and now holds two part-time jobs.

When the opportunity to interview at All American Clothing Company occurred, Natalie was excited and nervous. Natalie applied what she had learned through her CF experiences and was offered the position. Lawson Nickol, co-owner of All American Clothing Company, shared, “We’re happy to have the ability to give someone an opportunity and a chance.”

Natalie expresses that she enjoys the people she works with and the tasks she performs. According to Logan Beam, Director of Marketing and Communication, from All American Clothing Company, “In an age where approximately 98 percent of all clothing worn by Americans is produced overseas… All American Clothing Co. is one of the only clothing companies in the country to manufacture all of its products within the United States, using exclusively American raw materials. The cotton in a pair of All American Jeans is grown in the United States. The denim is woven here as well. The buttons and zippers are made here, too. And despite the fact that American labor is significantly more expensive than foreign labor, All American Clothing Co. manufactures all of its apparel in the United States with a mission to support American workers.” Natalie is proudly one of the American workers sending American-made clothing to doorsteps.

When asked what Natalie brings to the work place her supervisor, Kim Burns, explained, “Natalie brings diversity to our work place. Most of us take life skills for granted, and until you are blessed with the opportunity to work with an individual who has a disability, you can’t truly understand how much they want success as much as anyone does.”

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month as a reminder that people who have disabilities have a desire to work. When Kim was asked what effect Natalie has had on her or her co-workers, she expressed, “Working with Natalie has brought awareness of the need for job opportunities for individuals with disabilities. It does take additional time and patience to train, but in the end if you have helped someone gain confidence and new job skills everyone who has been involved will have a sense of accomplishment.” Businesses interested in learning more and partnering with the Darke County Board of DD can contact Rodney Willis, Community First Director at 937-548-9057.


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