(Stoneham, MA) – Andy Jackson loves the fine art of organizing. It gives him great satisfaction to have a place for everything and see everything in its place. Andy also happens to love lending a hand and helping people, so each day when his two passions collide, it’s a win-win for BJ’s Wholesale Club in Stoneham, Massachusetts.

“Andrew is one of the most professional, hard-working BJ’s team members we have at our club,” says Dan Brady, Senior Operations Manager at BJ’s in Stoneham. “He comes in everyday with a smile and a can-do attitude and he gets the job done right, the first time.”

As a person living with autism, Andy thrives in environments that require routine and meticulous attention to the details.  At BJ’s, customer service, carts and recovery are his domain. “We worked to carve out a position for Andy that’s a blend of job tasks that he really enjoys,” says Tom Carr, a Career Resource Specialist for Work Opportunities Unlimited.  Top of the list is helping customers get their purchases to their cars. Andy also collects shopping carts and returns them to the cart carousels, and he recovers merchandise that customers put aside and returns it to its proper place in the store. “Andy likes to have things well organized, he really enjoys repetitive tasks, he’s very schedule oriented and he knows his job inside and out, so when he arrives at BJ’s he hits the ground running.”

Competitive employment is a highly-valued activity in our society; it provides meaningful activity and personal resources. Creating opportunities for success in the workplace is a motivating force for Work Opportunities Unlimited. “We believe that all people can work. We believe in diversity in the workplace and that everyone should have a chance at opportunity, so my job is to work to break down the barriers to employment for people who live with disabilities. I help my clients develop career goals, we work on pre-vocational and job retention skills, often I provide life skills training, and of course I coach them while on the job to help them maximize their success.”

With a little support and guidance from Carr, Andy is a thriving member of the BJ’s team, so much so that he’s now providing employee training for new hires in the Carts/Recovery position.   “Andy is making his mark at BJ’s. He loves to share information and he’s really patient as a teacher.”

“There is a very clear correlation between diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and employee engagement,” adds Carr. “I can’t go a week without a co-worker approaching me to tell me how great Andy is. He’s always happy on the job; the greeters rave about him and how polite and quick he is to lend a hand. He wants to help, he wants to work. Andy’s positive attitude makes a huge difference, he helps people get through their day.”

“What Andrew brings to our team day in and day out is immeasurable,” says Brady. “It’s one of the reasons that he recently earned the “Members First, Team Member of the Year.”