The day Liborio woke up and started preparing for work started just like any other.
The warm summer breeze, clear blue sky and fresh morning air were part of life’s small comforts. Liborio was a hard-working family man like many of us, with a wife and children he adored seeing at the end of each day.
But one day in early 2000, a phone call changed his life forever.
What was a seemingly warm summers day turned cold, as he discovered his wife and children had been involved in a fatal car accident, sadly losing their lives.
The shock, pain and grief of having his family taken from him so suddenly left Liborio feeling lost and broken. He found himself unable to work as he used to, eventually resigning to focus on his own mental health and wellbeing.
For many years Liborio faced a variety of other adversities through his life, but through hard work and determination he persevered. After being out of the workforce for so long, Liborio realised he needed some help to get back into open employment, which is when he turned to breakthru for support.
Building Capacity & Finding Work
The day Liborio met with Employment Consultant Shahil and Support Worker Reymon was the day everything slowly started to change. From the very first meeting, Shahil and Reymon realised that Liborio had an incredible work ethic and a kind-hearted personality, so they were eager to find Liborio work he enjoyed.
Knowing his primary goal was to find employment, Reymon first engaged an Occupational Therapist to help build Liborio’s capacity and pre-employment skills. He also worked hard to help him improve his literacy and numeracy skills so he could hit the ground running at his future job.
After some initial searching and a few weeks of confidence building exercises, Liborio felt he was ready to take the plunge and apply for a new vacancy as a Warehouse Assistant that Shahil had discovered at Plastik Packaging.
A quick interview with owner John saw Liborio with a job offer in a matter of days – his first job in a number of years.
From his first day of employment, Liborio was supported with on-the-job training in the manufacturing and distribution of plastic.
Shahil regularly worked on-site to help demonstrate proper use of machinery and suggest optimal delivery routes for maximum efficiency. After a few weeks Liborio settled into a routine where he felt confident and began to excel, which Shahil was thrilled to see.
Employer John was also impressed with how well he picked up the job, stating he fit into the team extremely well.
“He’s a real asset and always helps out whenever needed” John said.
Liborio’s highly motivated work attitude and keen eye for detail meant that deliveries were always on time and that the machines were running smoother than ever – both of which are incredibly important in the Plastic manufacturing industry.
Despite his fantastic performance and work ethic, COVID-19 became yet another obstacle that Liborio needed to overcome. When restrictions came into full effect and industries started shutting down, John had no choice but to look at decreasing hours across his warehouse in order to survive.
“It was an absolute last resort, but with so much uncertainty and such a sharp fall in cash flow I needed to do something to preserve my business and protect my staff” John said.
Given how hard Liborio worked to get this job, Shahil knew there would be negative consequences to his mental health if Liborio were to lose his hours.
To keep Liborio in a secure role and ensure John could keep his factory running at peak efficiency, Shahil negotiated an emergency wage supplement as well as extended on the job support to solidify Liborio’s chances of maintaining secure open employment.
Now as restrictions begin to ease, we’re pleased to share that Liborio is still working hard as ever in his role at Plastik Packaging, with the hope of many more months and years of honest work to come.
“Thank you to everyone for all of your continuous support” Liborio said
“This job has been amazing for both my mental and physical health, and I finally feel like I can start moving forward with my life”
Looking for help?
After growing up with his younger sister Katey (who was born with Down Syndrome), Josh has witnessed first hand the barriers and misconceptions placed around people with disability. As part of the breakthru team, Josh hopes to assist people just like Katey to find the information or supports they need to live their best life.