After graduating from Independence High School in 1996, Fletcher Knox was referred to Goodwill by his Vocational Rehabilitation counselor, Wilson Cherry. He took part in Goodwill’s Work Adjustment Training Program, which was designed for individuals who had difficulty obtaining or maintaining employment. Knox spent long days in the Industrial Services Department, putting together pieces and parts for industrial contract clients as he learned basic work skills.

Vocational Coaching Specialist David Washam, who celebrates 20 years with Goodwill in November, remembers Knox as one of Goodwill’s brightest students. “He worked so hard every day, and he never got tired,” said Washam. “We could tell that he had this amazing work ethic, and he was brilliant with numbers and dates. After a few months of training, we wondered if Fletcher could handle our Careers in Banking program.”

Handle it he did – with flying colors. Knox passed all of the requirements to enter the course, and soon after graduating he landed a job with BB&T’s operations division. And he has been there ever since.

“Fletcher rarely misses work,” said Tracy Clark, production manager for BB&T’s operation division and Knox’s manager. “He has missed maybe 5 or 6 days in more than 15 years since he has worked with us.” We sat down with Clark recently to talk about Knox’s success.

“I really think the key is that we were able to retrain him after the bank moved from proof encoding to imaging,” Clark explained, referencing BB&T’s move to a more digital environment. Though some employees were unable to successfully make the transition to digital imaging during the 2007 move, Knox easily adapted to the changes. “He has a goal of processing 1100 transations per hour, which we will probably bump up pretty soon,” Clark said.

Washam points out that another key to success for Knox is that he has worked with Clark for his entire 15-year tenure. “It makes such a difference when a manager is committed,” he said. And Knox has certainly left his mark on the department – he draws intricate geometrical designs and his artwork can be seen in cubicles around the room. “He is an artist, he handles his own expenses, pays bills and has a credit card,” Clark said. “Some people still don’t take the time to really understand Fletcher, but I am proud of him.”

Goodwill supports National Disability Employment Awareness Month during October, celebrating employers and partners who support employing people with disabilities.

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