Article 4 of 4 in the Lifeworks National Disability Employment Awareness Month Series
Growing up on a 22-acre farm in rural Waseca, Alex McColley was fascinated by the world of agriculture.
With help from Lifeworks, McColley was able to turn this life-long passion into a flourishing career.
As a warehouse worker at QC Supply, an international distributor of livestock products based in Nebraska, he has found his niche.
“I live on a farm, so the agriculture part, that’s why I got attracted to applying to this job – because it’s ag-related, and that’s what I like,” McColley said.
As an added bonus, the warehouse where he works is only about a five minute drive from his home, which is one of his favorite things about his job.
In his first few months on the job, McColley was trained on how to use a forklift, unload trucks, handle materials, and organize the warehouse.
“A lot of detail stuff,” said Warehouse Supervisor Larry Troy. “He’s done real well with that.”
McColley’s responsibilities in the warehouse range from small, detail-oriented tasks to basic manual labor – and he tackles each assignment with a can-do attitude that his co-workers appreciate.
“Alex is a really hard worker,” Troy said. “I don’t think there’s anybody here that thinks of Alex as a person with a disability.”
Every couple of weeks, Lifeworks job coach Chelsea Skinner meets with McColley to see how he’s doing and make sure he has everything he needs to be successful.
“In the beginning, she checked in more,” McColley said. “Now it’s once in a while she’ll come here.”
With frequent shipments coming in to the warehouse and hundreds of different products that need to be unloaded, scanned, and organized, McColley has thrived working a full-time schedule.
“Freight comes in, I take care of it, I put it on the shelf, I stock the store, and then I help customers get products and load their vehicles,” McColley said.
McColley has held his position in the warehouse since June 24, working largely independently.
“Sometimes I’m on my own, sometimes I get help, but most of the time it’s just me handling the stuff coming in, the stuff going out,” McColley said. “Some stuff is bigger so I need help with it.”
Though he hadn’t previously worked in a warehouse full-time, McColley was employed part-time by Schwickert’s Tecta America in Mankato before being hired for his current position.
QC Supply is one of nearly 300 Lifeworks employer partners in the Twin Cities and greater Mankato area. Interested in working with us to hire individuals with disabilities at your workplace? Visit our Employer Partnerships page for more information.