Every day, Work Opportunities Unlimited (WOU) serves its mission of helping people with barriers to employment find meaningful and fulfilling jobs. With WOU’s support Scott Herard has remained successfully employed as a cashier at The Home Depot for 6 years!
Scott began receiving employment services with WOU in July 2014, with the goal of securing a paid position that offered job security and benefits. He gained experience at a couple of other opportunities before starting at The Home Depot in January 2017 with the help of a former WOU Career Resource Specialist (CRS). Scott is now assisted on the job by Kimberly Elliott, CRS at WOU’s Providence, Rhode Island location, who has supported Scott since November 2019. Kimberly checks in on Scott at work each week and they connect regularly via phone. She says working with Scott is a pleasure because he is excellent at keeping her updated on his job and “is extremely well mannered and always polite in his interactions with others.”
Each day, Scott operates a cash register, monitors the self-checkout area, promotes the store credit card, and helps customers locate items within the store. You can hear his voice on the intercom system when he needs assistance from management or specific store departments. One of Scott’s most important job duties is training new employees to correctly operate the cash register during the checkout process. Scott has proven to be a model employee with a solid work ethic who always adheres to company policies and procedures, so he is the perfect person for training new hires.
Scott has remained dedicated to his job throughout his career at The Home Depot. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, he continued to report to work for every scheduled shift. When Scott himself had COVID-19, he returned to work as soon as he was medically cleared to do so. Scott was touched when The Home Depot sent him a care package with a thermometer, blanket, soup, a coffee mug, and other necessities and comfort items. It made him feel as if the company cared about him on a personal level. His fellow employees do that, too. Scott says, “The best part of my job is forming friendships with my coworkers and how they treat me like family.”
Scott says his job at The Home Depot “has impacted me in a big way,” because his benefits and job security prove that “even though I have a disability, I am no different than a person without a disability.” He takes full advantage of benefits such as medical and dental insurance as well as vision, 401(k), and even profit sharing. Kimberly says, “Scott is a very responsible young man. He uses his income wisely and although he lives at home with his parents, he is responsible for contributing to household expenses by paying rent, and he pays for his own personal bills.” Scott appreciates that his paid time off benefits let him spend time with his family without a negative financial impact.
Scott continues to earn significant recognition for his outstanding productivity and customer service. He has been Employee of the Month twice and has even been recognized as one of the top 5 cashiers within the district. Scott and Kimberly are now working to determine what steps he needs to take to reach his next goal of being promoted to head cashier. As Kimberly says, “He does not view his employment with The Home Depot as ‘just a job.’ This is a career for Scott.”
Scott acknowledges the support that WOU has provided, saying “they are there for you whenever you need them to help you with anything regarding your job,” but his hard work and dedication are the keys to his long-term success. Scott’s advice for other WOU clients that are currently seeking employment is to take initiative and keep trying until you find the right opportunity: “If one door shuts, another opens. Even if the door shuts kick it down, because there is always going to be at least one person that will say yes.” It’s advice anyone can use. Thank you for the inspiration, Scott!