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Our mission is to help individuals with barriers to self-sufficiency to achieve independence and dignity through work. Not charity, but a chance.

Johnny Tran

He loves his job

Goodwill and the American Surgical Company (ASC) are working together – and it could help save lives.

Johnny Tran is in Goodwill’s Employment Supports Program, which works with individuals who have developmental disabilities. Many of the participants in the program work in mobile work crews that go to the employer’s place of business. This works well for the companies and creates an integrated employment environment for the participants.

Johnny works at ASC, a Salem-based company that manufactures and assembles surgical products. He works in a sterile environment and assemble sponges that are used by neurosurgeons.

“Johnny is a tremendous worker,” said Erik Piasio, ASC’s Managing Director. “He is very focused on doing a good job.”

Erik’s involvement with Goodwill is not new. His father also employed Goodwill participants at his medical device company in Portland, Maine. That made the decision to partner with Goodwill in Salem an easy one.

“This has been a wonderful program for us,” he said. “It has gone better than expected and we hope to bring on more employees from Goodwill.”

That would be OK with Johnny. “I think this is a great job,” Johnny said. “I like coming here every day and going to work.”

Program helps young people get jobs

Shadair Kemp has never let obstacles get in his way. Born with a developmental and physical disability, Shadair has to use crutches in order to get around. But they are just a fact of life, not a hindrance. “I don’t let my crutches hold me back from doing anything that I want to do,” Shadair said.

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