• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
News Alert: DIRECTV Customers. Tell DIRECTV to bring back KTVA. Call 800-531-5000. - Read More
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 10s

‘Employment first’ stresses jobs for people who experience disabilities

By Lauren Maxwell Photojournalist: Jared Mazurek - 7:16 PM June 23, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

Most of us would say it’s important to have a job, but what if you couldn’t get one just because you experienced a disability? A new law may make it easier for people with disabilities to find jobs and keep them.

Gov. Sean Parnell recently declared Alaska an “employment first” state. It means that state agencies and school districts in Alaska need to work together to make employment a priority for people with disabilities — to train people, help them find jobs and to give them the support they need to stay employed.

Employers might wonder what those jobs would look like and others would be surprised at what some people who experience disabilities can do. Case in point is Clarence Garner; he’s worked at True Value Hardware on Jewel Lake Road for 10 years.

On the day KTVA visited the store, Garner was operating the floor-cleaning machine with a clean pressed shirt, black slacks and a bowtie. He wanted to look good for his interview.

“He likes to brag about his bowtie and he likes to wear it on occasion,” said True Value owner Tim Craig.

Garner showed us around the store. The 49-year-old mostly does janitorial work, but he loves to talk with customers and he has an idea where most things are located.

“If I can’t find things and I’m really busy then what I do is … I read the signs!” Garner said.

Garner gets other help as well. He has a job coach who comes to the store nearly every day.

“He does a very good job,” said Momodou Hydra. He works for the nonprofit Assets, which works to support people with disabilities. Garner doesn’t need a lot of assistance, Hydra said.

“Supported employment for Clarence is to make sure he is able stay on track and make sure that what is expected of him he is able to do,” Hydra said.

But that really hasn’t been a problem, according to Craig. He said Garner is a hard worker who always earns his pay.

“He’s part of our team, he’s part of our family, he attends all of our store events and everybody here loves him,” Craig said.

Garner has found more than a job at True Value, he has friendships and a purpose to his day. If you see him peddling his signature orange bicycle around the Jewel Lake area, you should know that he has a place to go. There’s a good chance he’s heading to work.

Latest Stories

  • DayBreak

    Workforce Wednesday: Engineering in Alaska

    by Daybreak Staff on Feb 22, 16:11

    Alaska is home to dozens of engineering specialties, ranging from civil to mechanical, aerospace to ship building. If there’s a big infrastructure project, chances are there was an engineer involved. Engineers also make a broad salary, averaging anywhere from $46 to $73 per hour, according to Cassie Ostrander, a spokesperson for the Alaska Process Industry […]

  • Lifestyle

    Public asked to help count Anchorage moose

    by Heather Hintze on Feb 22, 15:54

    Biologists at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game need your help to count moose around the Anchorage Bowl. They haven’t been able to do their annual aerial surveys for the past few years because of bad weather and low snow. For the first time, the department is asking for the public’s help to track moose […]

  • News

    Coast Guard awards polar icebreaker design study contracts

    by KTVA / AP on Feb 22, 15:41

    The U.S. Coast Guard has awarded five fixed-price contracts for design studies and analysis of new heavy polar icebreakers. Coast Guard and Navy personnel will use the studies to refine heavy polar icebreaker specifications. “These contracts will provide invaluable data and insight as we seek to meet schedule and affordability objectives,” Rear Adm. Michael Haycock, […]

  • Politics

    Trump administration reverses Obama-era policies on transgender bathrooms

    by Emily Schultheis / CBS News on Feb 22, 15:41

    President Donald Trump’s administration on Wednesday reversed Obama-era policies requiring that public schools allow transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. It will now be up to states and school districts to interpret whether federal sex discrimination law applies to gender identity. A letter sent to schools nationwide Wednesday by […]

  • Running with the reindeer at Fur Rondy

    by Daybreak Staff on Feb 22, 15:03

    The Fur Rendezvous tradition, the Running of the Reindeer is entering its 10th year.  According to the event page, it’s a mellower version of running with the bulls in Pamploma, Spain, and pits person against reindeer. There are four different groups, or “herds,” people can join — one each for women and men, couples and tourists, […]

  • Politics

    Murkowski vows ‘no’ vote on repealing Medicaid expansion, defunding Planned Parenthood

    by Liz Raines on Feb 22, 14:45

    Sen. Lisa Murkowski addressed the Alaska Legislature Wednesday morning for the 15th time since taking office in 2002. It’s an annual speech that she and the rest of Alaska’s congressional delegation deliver to update members of the Legislature on work in Washington, D.C. Beyond laying out her priorities on energy and land management, Murkowski also addressed […]

  • Celebrating Black History Month and the members of the military

    by Daybreak Staff on Feb 22, 13:42

    Because of the Brave is a photography project that recognizes military members, and celebrates Black History Month. The founder and person behind the project, Victoria Baldwin, said she got the idea while she was deployed to Kuwait in 2014. She’d snap a portrait of different service members, and ask them why they chose to join the […]

  • News

    AST: Deaths of 2 Soldotna people found dead in Bronco an accident

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 22, 13:31

    The deaths of two people, found dead in a burned Bronco last year, have been ruled accidental, according to Alaska State Troopers. In an online dispatch, the agency wrote that impairment and carbon monoxide inhalation were factors in Daniel Duck and Joni Pearcy’s deaths. On Nov. 20, Soldotna troopers received a missing persons for Duck […]