2018 Opportunity Award Recipient
“My self-worth definitely went up!” — DENNIS CISAR
Opportunity knocks after years of constant change
At 57 years of age and working short-term jobs in retail, landscaping, and janitorial, Dennis Cisar desperately wanted to work in computer technology, but he had no prior formal training. His Aspberger Syndrome affects his social interaction. He was often underestimated and lacked support or mentors in the field. Wanting more, Dennis met Job Developer, Hannah Schneider, at Goodwill in hopes she could lead him to reach his goal.
Dennis was also a client of Far Northern Regional Center which had a funded internship spot open. Everything fell into place when Hannah found a local business opportunity for on-the-job training with Mountaineer IT in Yreka. Owner, Chris Thompson, saw Dennis’ potential and passion and accepted the opportunity.
Chris’ brother and sole employee, Lloyd, had years of management experience and became Dennis’ job coach to help him with his interpersonal skills to work directly with customers.
“Working with Dennis has been a blessing, helped us in how we treat our customers, and it’s formed our training processes for the future,” Lloyd said.
Dennis soaked up all he could from the on-the-job learning. He earned a Veeam Certified Engineer certification for customer service and is working on a Computing Technology Industry Association A+ certification, which is the industry standard for establishing a career in IT. “My self-worth definitely went up,” he said.
His interpersonal skills are markedly changed, too. “Dennis is a completely different person than from when he came to us. He was unsure of himself, but now he’s confident and knows what he wants,” Hannah said.
The Story Behind The Store