Representative Josh Zepnick recently visited Andy Wegner at Bounce Milwaukee as part of the Take Your Legislator to Work Campaign, organized each year by the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities.
“It was an awesome experience to join my constituent Andy at his job at Bounce Milwaukee. Bounce has recently been named one of the best places to work. I can see why. I appreciate their commitment to hiring people with disabilities and providing a supportive work setting. Andy is like anyone else, he wants to give his best, have a job, and be a vibrant part of the community. I am proud of his work and success. Wisconsin State government is one of the leaders in the United States for providing strong support and services to increase and improve employing folks with disabilities. It’s the best part of my job, to do what I can to help this effort,” stated Rep. Zepnick.
The campaign coordinates visits between legislators and their constituents with disabilities. During the visit, Andy’s legislator saw community- integrated employment in action and learned more about the value it brings to the employee, employer and greater community.
Andy Wegner, Rep. Zepnick and Andy’s mother, Susan Karvala pictured at BOUNCE Milwaukee.
According to Andy’s boss, Ryan Clancy, “Andy is a dedicated worker, who clearly takes pride in his work. He lights up around customers.” At Bounce Milwaukee, Andy is part of a community of collaborating coworkers, as well as the larger community they serve. Before his job at Bounce, Andy worked for 11 years at a facility based job doing piecework. At age 38 he decided that he wanted to work in the community for minimum wage alongside others who do not have a disability. His co-workers give Andy’s work and his work ethic a glowing report.
When people with disabilities work in the community at a competitive wage, they are less likely to rely on publicly-funded programs. And, 87% of customers say they would prefer to patronize businesses that employ people with disabilities.
For more information go to www.wi-bpdd.org.