Charles “Ryan” Burghy really wanted to work and was hitting roadblocks when he learned of Goodwill’s Project Connect paid transitional training program.
He connected with Goodwill Employment Specialist Elonaray “Jo” Perkins who set him up with the Project Connect team in Hocking County. The program helped him learn and hone his work skills as well as develop a passion for working.
After successfully completing Project Connect, it wasn’t long before Ryan was hired at the Hungry Buffalo in Logan. He worked there for a short time before being transferred to its sister restaurant, Millstone Southern Smoked BBQ, also in Logan.
“Goodwill helped when needed; helped me find a job. I learned various skills through Project Connect that have helped me with where I’m working now,” Ryan said.
While Ryan was in Project Connect, he was known as a hard worker who never missed days and was sweet to boot, Jo said.
“He puts his all into the task he is doing, making sure it was done properly and sufficient,” said Meagan Taylor, who is Ryan’s job coach. “He was always wanting to work and never missed a day if he could help it.”
Those attributes have continued at Millstone.
“Ryan is really good. He gets involved, asks questions, and just excels at everything he’s doing here,” said Sean “Pacman” Harmon, manager at Millstone. “We have Ryan doing food prep in the kitchen – making patties of various sizes, the different barbeque sauces or things like that. He is very precise when it comes to weighing out the burgers. When we tell him it’s 8 ounces, he makes sure it’s exactly 8 ounces.”
Ryan also has been excited with growing his skills at Millstone.
“I’ve been able to learn all types of skills. They have taught me how to handle a knife which is a long term skill that I wouldn’t have learned anywhere else,” Ryan said.
Millstone has been helping those with disabilities in partnership with Goodwill for awhile now with job placement, and the Summer Youth program.
“We believe that everyone deserves a chance, if we can find a spot for an individual to flourish in, we place them there based on their strengths to help watch them flourish and then develop new skills,” Pacman said, “I like being able to take my knowledge and pass it on.”
Everyone at Millstone has seen Ryan really come into his own while there. He loves to make his coworkers laugh while also getting the job done.
“The staff here are nice, polite, and helpful,” Ryan said. “Anytime I’ve needed help they’ve been able to show me exactly what I’ve needed to do to get the job done. Some of the waitresses were really helpful letting me know which items on the menu that I get my discount on which really helps me save money.”
Ryan is also appreciative of those at Goodwill who helped him reach his potential and goals.
“If they can help me find a job, then I know they can help others. It’s actually helpful for those with disabilities who need assistance,” Ryan said.