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Low unemployment provides new opportunities for those with special needs

Posted at 7:35 AM, May 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-20 08:35:57-04

GREENDALE -- Goodwill has helped connect some of our most vulnerable populations by getting them ready for the work force.

The company's decade-old TalentBridge program helped 25-year-old Demetrius Jackson land the job he always wanted.

He says he hopes to treat his favorite Bucks star with a cup of joe.

"I have these dreams that Giannis - I pay for his coffee, and he gets it free," said Jackson.

Jackson's mother says he wanted to share his affection, but could not find an employer to teach him the skills.

"I mop the floors and clean the counters and do the cups," said Jackson.

Living with cerebral palsy, he hopes to inspire others.

"I love working," said Jackson. "It's been my passion."

"When I drop him off I say, 'hey, make someone's day. Give them a hug,' and that's what he does," said Stacye Jackson, mother.

The director of Goodwill's TalentBridge says the low unemployment rate has also made for an interesting moment for employers facing the crunch of less workers.

"Employers are open to a wide variety of people or are considering things they wouldn't consider before and that can be something like really working on inclusivity," said Suzanne Maldonado, Goodwill TalentBridge.

Demetrius is a star example of that. Goodwill job coaches have helped him along the way.