If you’ve visited the Holston Valley Hospital in Kingsport, you’ve probably seen Ashley Patterson. She’s on the go-to crew for keeping the hospital environment clean and sterilized.
Patterson started with Goodwill in 2004. She enrolled in the Organizational Employment Program, which provides employment to individuals for whom competitive employment is not feasible due to a barrier such as age, severity of disability or lack of work experience. While in the program, Patterson spent time prepping and learning about her new work skills, such as dusting, cleaning, mopping, and sweeping.
“Being in the Goodwill program really helped me learn new job skills,” said Patterson.” I got a job in the hospital. It’s a fun place to work and I’ve made a lot of friends. I am proud of what I do and I’m happy to be at work and to participate in other work activities, such as the spring picnic.”
She is the one who keeps the bathrooms, ER Lobby, admitting waiting area, and hallways spotless and trash free! Patterson monitors the lobbies, Starbucks, Subway, and museum area for trash and spills. She’s also the one refilling the antibacterial hand sanitizer stations to help keep everyone germ free!
Going through the Goodwill program and learning these new skills has helped Patterson grow as a person, too.
“Having a job has got me out of the house and active,” said Patterson. “And I’ve gained independence, I earn a paycheck, I got my driver’s license and definitely a lot more confidence,” she said with a smile.
Erin Starnes, Director of Workforce Development, worked with Ashley when she first started at Goodwill and now periodically checks up on her and makes sure she’s still completing her job to the best of her ability.
“Ashley has been with Goodwill for over 10 years now,” said Starnes. “She’s went from underestimating her abilities and capabilities to now being a very reliable, hardworking individual. We’re very proud of her and look forward to her future accomplishments!”
Patterson says you should always be yourself. So if you see Ashley working (and smiling!) in the hospital on your next visit, stop by and say hello!