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← ABILITY Magazine Interview: Richard E. Marriott

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Showing Revision 4 created 09/01/2015 by Elizabeth Hagale.

  1. (music)

  2. So many people are sitting around saying,
    "Well, our job isn't quite exactly what
  3. I want, I'm here for something else. And
    something else, and all of a sudden it's
  4. three years later and they still haven't
    got a job." Hey, if it means cooking
  5. hamburgers at McDonald's, get a job. Get
    out there and get some experience and go
  6. after it. Now, that was one thing my father
    taught me, and just beat it into me from the
  7. time I was a little kid: "Nobody ever makes
    a great success out of life workin' 40
  8. hours a week." When he was 14 and a half
    years old, his father sent him to Omaha,
  9. Nebraska, with a whole trainload of sheep.
    By himself. To sell the sheep.
  10. Fourteen-and-a-half years old! Come on, he
    had his first pair of long pants when
  11. he did that. He went and sold all the
    sheep and came home. And he said, "He told
  12. me what to do, he never told me
    how to do it."
  13. (laughter)
  14. In 1989, my brother and I and my folks
    were trying to decide - my mother and my
  15. father had passed away in 1985 - we were
    trying to figure out what segment of the
  16. population, of the youth population, can
    we help out. What can we do. And we sat
  17. down and went through everything we could
    think of. We said, "You know, young people
  18. with disabilities are making a tremendous
    contribution to our company. We've been
  19. hiring them for years. But most of them
    have- they are unemployed! And what we
  20. need to do is get in there and try and find
    a way of helping these young people get
  21. an opportunity for full-time employment.
    So over the the past 23 years, Bridges has
  22. helped more than 18,000 young people
    find meaningful employment.
  23. (applause)
  24. What Bridges does... We go work with the
    special education groups and the voc
  25. rehab groups and so forth in the various
    cities that we're working with. They
  26. identify students who could possibly be possible
    Bridges candidates. Our employer representatives
  27. work with these young men and women,
    and we train them how to make an
  28. application for a job, how to interview,
    how to perform work, how to have
  29. responsibility, how to do day-to-day job
    responsibilities. I spoke today about this
  30. sweet girl named Maria in Dallas. Hired
    by the Bank of America, they'd never
  31. anybody out of the program. She has spina
    bifida, she could barely walk. But, you
  32. know, she said, "People don't think I can
    do anything because I can't walk straight."
  33. But the Bank of America hired her. She is
    a sensation! I mean, she's had three
  34. promotions, they've hired 32 people since
    from the Bridges program, and- Because
  35. she is so darn good. These kids are great
    for the team morale. I mean, people who
  36. work with them say, "Here is somebody who's
    truly excited about their job!"
  37. (laughter)
  38. I mean, wow! They show up, they work hard,
    they're happy, they're just excited to be
  39. there and be performing a useful service.
    And it's good for everybody!
  40. We've dealt with 4,800 different employers
    down through the years. I mean, there
  41. are a lot of employers out there. And
    it's usually- We're educating the kids how
  42. to apply for jobs, and we're also educating
    the employers how to work with people with
  43. disabilities, and how to be comfortable
    with them. And the comfort level is the
  44. most important single thing. We can get them
    comfortable with working with these young
  45. people and know how they can best apply
    their individual talents, and it's a no-brainer.
  46. These kids can really make contributions.
    They can help us, they can help with our
  47. morale, they can help with our bottom line,
    they can help with our participation in
  48. the community. You know, it's a terrific
    opportunity for them, to really bring
  49. these young people into the community and
    into the business community.