By Joanne Rego, Supported Employment Network Coordinator

After reading the July 2017 Enterprising Minds article in the SouthCoast Chamber Focus newsletter, Donald Guimette, President of Shepard Group, Inc. announced to his staff, “I’m hiring him!” As a result, Christopher Mercer found a new job that he loves and an employment opportunity that has proven to have a very successful outcome for both the employer and employee. SouthCoast Chamber member, Shepard Group, Inc. of Westport is a commercial service contractor company that provides property management throughout the Greater New Bedford and Fall River area. His business was in need of a part-time employee to provide the company with maintenance services and truck detailing one day a week at their Westport office. After reading the Southcoast Chamber’s Enterprising Minds article that highlighted Mercer’s work experience and his active job search, Guimette wanted to give Mercer a shot at a new job at his company. Guimette put in a call to Lifestream, Inc.’s supported employment program and spoke to Mark Jardin the Employment Manager at Lifestream, Inc. Jardin met with Guimette at his Shepard’s Group, Inc. office to discuss the employment needs of their company and an interview was set up between Mercer and Guimette. What transpired was the perfect job match not only skill wise, but also, the boss and the new employee’s personalities were a perfect match too. Both Guimette and Mercer are New England sports enthusiast, which created a unique connection between the two.

Chris loves his new job providing maintenance services for his new employer. His duties at Shepard Group, Inc. include cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, cleaning and detailing the company trucks, mopping and vacuuming the floors and shredding paper. Chris says he enjoys working with his new co-workers including Sarah, Rackel and the guys in the garage. Guimette says he loves having Mercer working for him at his company. Guimette says Chris always has a smile on his face when he comes to work and notes that Mercer gets along well with all his co-workers. Sarah says that Mercer is reliable, always on time and he is a hard worker.

Mercer says he is proud to earn a paycheck and to be a tax-paying citizen. He was very pleased when he received his first W-2 this year. Mercer says he saves his money to buy sports gear and to go out for dinner with family and friends.

Mercer has been employed at Shepard Group, Inc. since the summer of 2017. Mark Jardin from Lifestream, Inc. says he is very proud of Mercer and his work performance at both of his jobs. Jardin says that Mercer is a dependable and skilled worker who is very sociable and is willing to do whatever task his employers needs him to do.

If your business is interested in hiring a skilled and dedicated employee like Mercer or you would like to discuss an employment opportunity, set up an interview for someone who has disabilities while receiving job supports services from one of the participating SouthCoast Chamber’s Supported Employment Network Committee members, please call Joanne Rego at the SouthCoast Chamber at 508-999-5231.