We asked a Clayton Sacramento team leader how working for Clayton the past two years has impacted his daily life.
“It motivates me to keep going and stay focused on the task at hand every day…it keeps me focused at what I’ve got on hand and how I can better myself,” Eric Caruso, a team leader at Clayton Sacramento, said.
Like Caruso, many other team members working at Clayton Sacramento have graduated from recovery programs at a local Volunteers of America program at Mather Community Campus and have found a stable, family-friendly work environment at the Clayton Sacramento building facility.
The Opportunity to Partner with Mather
Steve MacIntosh, the Clayton Sacramento Plant Manager, first learned about the Volunteers of America program at Mather when he interviewed an eager, sincere man who was ready to get back on his feet after going through a recovery program.
Steve decided to give the guy a shot, and he quickly found that the man was excellent at his tiling job. A partnership with the VOA program at Mather was born.
“I call up the Mather program and tell them, ‘Hey, I’ve got a few positions I need to fill,’” MacIntosh said.
MacIntosh has the same requirements for program graduates as he would for any other applicants, and if the applicants meet the requirements, he gives them a chance.
Since the beginning of the partnership, the Sacramento building facility has given over 35 team members who have gone through Mather’s VOA sponsored recovery program the ability to work for themselves, build stability, learn valuable new skills and get new opportunities.
“There’s something special about how a man can build things with his hands and see what he produces. I just think it’s really special how a man can build things and construct stuff when most of my life I kind of destroyed stuff,” Robert Berger, a finishing carpenter at Clayton Sacramento, said.
The Opportunity to Grow Families
Caruso would tell you that he looks forward to being a better person each day for himself and for his children.
“They see me at work every day,” Caruso said about his children. “They notice.”
Berger says that Clayton has given him the opportunity to raise a family and provide for that family.
“I’ve gotten married since I’ve been at Clayton,” Berger said. “I’ve been able to purchase a home…it’s given me the basic starting blocks of a life. I got a job at Clayton and from there on, I was able to marry the woman I love because I had a good steady job and could provide.”
Another team member has seen how her job at Clayton has affected her children and her. Since starting 6 months ago, Angel Wilkinson said that her boss, MacIntosh, has let her have the flexibility to take classes at Mather and drive her children to appointments.
“It’s helped my self-esteem and my daughters love that I love it,” Angel Wilkinson said. “Almost two years ago, I was at my lowest point and this job, and Mather, has really changed my life and gotten my family back together.”
The Opportunity to Grow Professionally
Team members at Clayton Sacramento also get to continue to grow. Raymond Fandinola, who has worked at Clayton for 2 ½ years, said he finds a lot of satisfaction in having a daily purpose. Fandinola said he knows he can keep growing at Clayton and he likes the opportunity.
“If I decide to go to a different department or improve my skills, I can always approach Steve [MacIntosh] or my area coordinator and keep growing,” Fandinola said.
Reginald Winslow works as an electrician and says the technical skills he’s learned have been invaluable.
“Through the skills I’ve learned here, I’ve been able to help other people outside of the company,” Winslow said. “I handyman myself out to other people who can’t afford a contractor or don’t know how to do it themselves.”
Winslow said he and his cousin have even begun remodeling a house together since Winslow can use the skills he’s learned.
The Opportunity for a New Perspective
The team members that have joined the Clayton family from the VOA program at Mather Community Campus most commonly acknowledge the shift in perspective that working at Clayton Sacramento has given them.
“There’s only one way: to look forward and look for a better life,” Caruso said. “There’s a lot of opportunities out there. Get out of your comfort zone and do it.”
Fandinola said he has learned to keep trying and not to give up.
“God will open doors for you and provide people and introduce you to people who will open doors for you,” Fandinola said.
Learning to persevere and to be patient with himself has opened up Berger’s eyes as well.
“There’s going to be moments where we don’t have everything together. If you can learn how to handle things being thrown at you, good or bad, you can get through any situation. Be patient with yourself because it’s going to take time to practice what we’re learning,” Berger said.
Jerry Rose, who has worked at Clayton for 2 years, said he also learned patience.
“Be patient. Somewhere down the line, there’s going to be something for you somewhere,” Rose said. “If we’re patient and do things we’re supposed to do, things will fall into place.”
A Thriving, Diverse Building Facility
MacIntosh said that he’s worked in the home building industry for over 37 years and admits that his facility can be challenging. But it has been rewarding.
“It’s real gratifying. I’ve taken some chances on people that we may not have in the past,” MacIntosh said. “There’s a lot of diversity out here.”
He doesn’t foresee the partnership between Clayton Sacramento and the VOA program at Mather Community Campus ending anytime soon.
“We’ve got really good people and it’s definitely helped our turnover and they’re real appreciative of having a job. We’ll continue to do it as long as it works,” MacIntosh said.
You can learn more about how Clayton gives back to team members, the local community and more by checking out other stories. From giving people new opportunities to build their lives again to donating time and resources to local organizations, Clayton is committed to people and communities all over the country.