By Jim Young, Mains’l Director of IT
Having spent nearly nine years serving in the United States Marine Corps, honoring veterans has become a personal mission of mine. As the IT Director at Mains’l, I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in several creative ways of giving back to those who have served in the military.
For over ten years now, Mains’l has served veterans throughout the state of Florida through the Veterans-Directed Home and Community Based Program. This program enables veterans to direct and receive services of their choosing, allowing them to remain independent in their homes and communities. As the Financial Management Services provider for this program, we proudly support approximately 300 people in almost every region of the state.
In early 2017, our leadership team strategized ways we could get closer to our vision of “a world where people live with meaning and purpose.” As part of our strategic plan, we’ve taken steps to match people with jobs that focus on their talents and abilities. We’ve created strength-based opportunities for people of varying abilities, and partnered with other agencies to help in that effort.
Since then, we’ve developed a strong partnership with the local Veterans Administration. Through this partnership, we’ve been able to successfully match people to roles that utilize their strengths and abilities.
An example of this is Christian Hatleli, an employee on our IT team. Christian served in the United States Army from 1998 to 2001 as a radar operator. While on active duty at Fort Hood, Christian was involved in an accident that left him in a wheel chair. He retired from the Army and spent the next 16 years at home, with limited connection to the world around him. Last year, Christian connected with Derek, a member of the Therapeutic and Supported Employment Services team at the Minneapolis VA, who recommended reaching out to Stacy Roe, our vice president of services, to learn about what we do. We all got together and the rest was history — Christian started as an Intern with our IT team and was promoted to a Data Analyst in April. Because of his work here, Christian has developed connections with co-workers and friends of co-workers. He has also decided to continue his academic career, pursing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Christian is now a permanent employee — no longer an intern — and valued member of the IT department.
Watch this video of Christian telling his story:
Christian’s powerful story is just the start of our partnership with the VA. Since then, we have matched more veterans in the IT Department and within other departments in Mains’l.
The Veterans Administration recently honored Mains’l as VA’s first recipient of the “VA Employer of the Year,” in recognition of National CWT Vocational Rehabilitation Recognition week last October. Please click here to read more.
Mains’l salutes those women and men who have given so much so that we could live in peace and safety. We believe it’s our responsibility to give back to these heroes and we are honored to do so.