Dane’s strong work ethic comes from his family’s attitude that work is important to one’s identity. For parents Denise and Jim, work “feels good, feels useful to help. [It’s] so important to have a sense of belonging, getting things done.” Dane is a student at Luxemburg-Casco High School, a recipient of the WI-BPDD’s Let’s Get to Work Grant, designed to create employment opportunities in partnership with DVR for students age 15-17. Dane’s job at the bank started with a conversation between John, the CEO of the Bank of Luxemburg, and an employee, whose wife is a principal in the Kewaunee Area Schools. John participated in a business tour set up by the Door Kewaunee Business and Education Partnership. Business tours are one of the strategies recommended by Let’s Get to Work coaches to market employment of students with disabilities to local businesses and to allow students a glimpse of the inner workings of a business. Both parties benefit by getting to know one another.
Dane’s success is attributed to the successful implementation and deliberate fading of supports from his job coach. He is a valued employee at the bank; he has a number of duties, including but not limited to delivering mail, filing, and alphabetizing. To John he is “part of our organization, not a separate employee.” Dane was one of several employees who volunteered to gather and organize items to give away at a parade in Dykesville. When asked about his job, Dane says, “I’m an employee at the bank. I love it. I love it. I love it.” About his co-workers, “My co-worker (Mary Henry) gives me an id card every day.” ”I can make her laugh so hard she can cry.” When Dane talks about his job, his fondness for co-workers and his dedication to the bank is obvious. He is a very proud and valuable employee of the Bank of Luxemburg. Given Dane’s success in his job at the bank, Dane’s family is very optimistic about his future: “His life will be his own; it won’t look exactly like his older brothers’ but will be his own.”
“What he’s doing is part of his life. Everyone needs to go out and find a job.” John Sladtky, CEO, Bank of Luxemburg