When Marcus first started school, “I was told I was retarded and wouldn’t amount to anything.”
Throughout his 43 years of life, Marcus has sure proved that statement wrong, being a talented musician and a very dedicated employee.
Marcus’ first work experience was during high school when he would wipe down tables and sweep the floors at the elementary school in his hometown.
“I got free chocolate milk after,” Marcus said.
He started working at VIP Industries in the mid-1990s. Years later he decided he wanted to try something new so he filled out an application at a fast food restaurant in Cape Girardeau and he was hired. He worked in competitive employment for two and a half years.
“I learned a lot there,” Marcus said, adding that he mainly made sandwiches, but did a variety of jobs, such as refilling the ketchup in the dining area.
It was a heat spell in the kitchen, however, that ended his career at this particular restaurant. He had passed out from the heat, and when he returned from the hospital, the manager told Marcus that he could work in the dining area away from the heat. Upon returning to work, however, he was asked to work in the kitchen. He knew he would not be able to handle it, especially since the air conditioning was not working properly, so he quit.
He later found a job at another fast food restaurant, one in which he could walk to, which saved him transportation costs. He did a little bit of everything, from helping stock product to making food. He enjoyed working at this establishment; however, he was not getting enough hours to pay his expenses. He quit and returned to VIP Industries. He has been at the sheltered workshop ever since.
“I enjoy working at the workshop,” Marcus said. “I’m glad I came back.”
He noted that he has many friends at the workshop, many of whom he has known since he first started back in the 90s.
“They take care of each other,” Marcus noted of his co-workers.
Marcus is proud of where he has come and what he has accomplished in his lifetime.
“We turn disabilities into capabilities,” he said. “We’ve shown we are worth something.”
Marcus does a variety of jobs at the workshop and enjoys any job he gets.
“If I’m needed somewhere, it makes me feel good because I know I am needed. And I will do it,” he said.