FROM LOW-TECH TO HIGH-TECH: JED’S SUCCESS STARTS WITH PARTS
When Jed Hall was only 7 years old, he presented his mother,
Kim, with a shoe box which contained a simple circuit. This shoe
box had a light switch, a 9-volt battery and an erector set
motor all connected with wire and alligator clips. The motor
prong was sticking out of the side of the shoe box with a little
paper fan that Jed had constructed. When Jed flipped the switch,
the fan blades turned. This was not Kim’s first indication that
Jed possessed unique skills. By this time, Jed had already been
taking apart toys with screwdrivers for quite some time. He was
even requesting broken appliances for Christmas so that he could
dismantle them. As Jed grew, he began collecting circuit boards
and tracked which boards came out of which appliances.
Jed was first diagnosed with Autism at the age of 5, just prior to beginning Kindergarten. Although he struggled initially in school, Mrs. Hall, a life skills teacher at a local elementary school, worked hard to assist Jed in developing skills to overcome his challenges.
“When I first met Jed while working as a transition counselor at REL HS in Tyler, I was struck by his excellent interpersonal skills. He was very friendly, funny, talkative and motivated to find a job he was interested in doing,” said DARS Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Jennifer McCurley.
“We soon enrolled Jed in Work Adjustment Training at Goodwill Industries and with the assistance of his trainer, Steve Houston, Jed excelled. He began working in a part of the program that recycled computer parts. Jed quickly dismantled the computers and sorted the internal parts for recycling. The basement once filled with old CPU, quickly emptied as Jed was able to dismantle up to 25 computers in a short 4 hour work day. Once Jed had met all his goals, he was ready to move on, yet was quite apprehensive that he would not have friends like the once he made at Goodwill in his new job.”
With the help of job placement specialist Elaine Mayo and Kristi Gluck of Client Services of East Texas, Jed quickly found the job he was looking for. He was able to obtain a position with a local company, MicroLogic Systems Inc. as a printer technician. In the 32,000 square foot facility, MicroLogic is committed to providing quality printer parts and services to their customers as well as their community.
The caring people from MicroLogic have taken Jed in and patiently taught him each step of his job. His manager, Bob Majors has been quite impressed with the speed and quality of Jed’s work and states MicroLogic is willing to teach Jed as much of the process of refurbishing print heads as he is willing to learn.
Before Jed joined the company, they were rushing to meet demands, but with Jed’s assistance in preparing and cleaning the print heads, they have been able to easily fill their demand. Jed is now in the beginning stages of learning laser welding to repair the print heads.
Jennifer said, “At a recent visit, I was quite overwhelmed with the love and support Jed receives on his job. He has his own work area and his coworkers have learned about Jed’s fascination with trains and pipe organs and have decorated his work station with color photos of both. Mr. Majors feels Jed has been a blessing to the company and is truly an asset. They have even asked him to consider increasing his hours at work.”
Jed said, “I like my job and what I am doing. Everyone is nice and everyone is easier to deal with than anywhere else.”