This summer, the Lynnwood, WA division partnered with Sherwood Community Services, a local nonprofit, to train and hire a young man with Autism to gather recycling contamination data. This partnership was the brainchild of Municipal Manager Russell J. who hand-tailored the program to suit the abilities of Matthew.
Matthew helps Division 4197 gather vital data on recycling contamination in single family carts by doing lid-flips and taking pictures of the contents. The program provides Matthew with real-life work experience, his first paid job, and gives Republic opportunities to connect with our customers in the field. “Matthew has such a wonderfully sunny, cheerful personality,” says Natalie C. who supervises Matthew.
“This program is a win-win-win. Matthew learns skills that increase his employability, Republic acquires data that can inform decision-making, and our Division extends its visibility in the communities we serve. When we work with Matthew in the field, we have conversations with our customers that we otherwise wouldn’t have,” Russell said.