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Employee provides special service

(KOTA)
Published: Oct. 13, 2016 at 3:06 PM CDT
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In some industries, like food service, it can be hard to hire and retain workers. One business has found real success hiring people with disabilities, like Bobbie Jo Palmer.

Bobbie Jo has spent the last 14 years working at the Spearfish McDonalds. She has cerebral palsy. Management learned not to prejudge her disability and she's blossomed at the fast food restaurant.

"When we hired her (the Northern Hills Training Center) thought that maybe she would just do the lobby, cleaning and those kinds of things," says manager Linda Cotrill. "As time progressed, we were like, 'She can do so much more.' We put her in front of the customer. Now she runs the drive-thru. She can run the counter."

Cotrill says Bobbie Jo memorizes orders. "She knows the totals before she rings it up. She knows their names. She knows their vehicles. As soon as they come in the parking lot she'll get their orders ready."

Bobbie Jo is thankful to have been given a chance to achieve her goals. "I think everybody deserves a chance in the world whether they have a disability or not. I think everybody deserves the opportunity to be able to have a place of employment," says Bobbie Jo.

Cotrill encourages other employers to hire people with special needs. "If anyone is ever thinking about hiring someone with disabilities, and they have any reservations, I'm telling you they are some of the best employees out there."

The Spearfish McDonald's was recognized for hiring people with disabilities by the Workforce Diversity Network.