OKLAHOMA CITY – The unemployment rate in Oklahoma City is among the lowest in the nation.
Companies all around Oklahoma are putting people to work.
At the Oklahoma City Cintas plant, management has hired several employees who’ve had difficulty finding work at any company because of their disability.
“We can teach them how to perform functions of the job. We don’t really need to teach them industrial laundry.” said plant manager Braden Echard. “We need people who are going to work here and fit in and smile every day.”
Peter Broussard, 27, started working at Cintas in 2013. He cleans floor mats. It is the best job he’s ever had.
“Peter is a fantastic employee. He’s here every day. He’s a culture fit. He fits with us. He’s fun to be around; good to work with; easy to manage.” said Echard.
Broussard is a model employee in every way. Unfortunately, most companies wouldn’t even consider hiring a worker like Broussard because he is profoundly deaf and legally blind.
Broussard is one of three blind or deaf employees at the Oklahoma City plant.
“We can do the same as everyone else. I believe in equality. I believe that I don’t need to be dependent on somebody else.” Broussard said through an interpreter.
Broussard is supporting his family, a wife and two sons, by going to work everyday at a company that’s supporting him.
Broussard got the job with the help of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (OKDRS) deaf-blind specialist, Joan Blake.
“Disabled workers are so excited and happy to find work that they just never call in sick. They are never absent from work. They’re so afraid of losing that job because it could be years until they find another one. They’re motivated to work hard.” said Blake.
Peter Broussard was recently nominated to be the spokesperson for Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week to highlight the achievements of other blind and deaf Oklahomans.