Chris Hawxhurst, 50, has been working at the Wegmans in Columbia since it opened two years ago. He started even sooner, when he was traveling to Hunt Valley with his co-workers for training, and it proved a time which strong relationships developed between them, The Arc of Howard County’s employment team and the Wegmans human resources staff.
Hawxhurst enjoys his job at Wegmans, where he works in the dish room. “He is responsible for ensuring a steady stream of clean dishes, pots, pans and utensils to keep the operation running smoothly,” said Esmond Miranda, the store’s sous chef.
Just like the chefs and sous chefs, Hawxhurst works in the “background” of the store to make sure nothing goes wrong and the food flow is steady. He doesn’t just do dishes; he also takes out the trash and recycling, keeping the kitchen clean.
To get to work, Hawxhurst takes public transportation from the house overlooking Lake Elkhorn in Columbia that he shares with a housemate, house manager and her dog. When he isn’t at work, Hawxhurst enjoys fishing on the lake and spending time with his family and girlfriend, who sometimes plays computer games with him.
“Chris gets on well with the other employees and has had no real issues working with the team,” Miranda said. “One thing about Chris is if you ask him to do something, he does it.”
Miranda works directly with Hawxhurst each day and says that Hawxhurst’s job coaches at The Arc have been really supportive and are always available if they’re needed. “Chris is always upbeat and happy when I visit him. He has never complained of having a bad day or working every weekend,” Tina Lewis, his job coach at The Arc, said. “Chris likes making money, [and] he’s mentioned to me several times [that] Sunday pay is $2 more per hour.”
Bonnie Cronin, director of employment and day services at The Arc, agrees with Lewis. “Out of the more than 100 people that we support in employment services,” she said, “no one takes more pride in their job, their earnings or in being a part of a team, such as the one at Wegmans, than Chris Hawxhurst.”
For information about employing a person served by The Arc of Howard County, contact Bonnie Cronin at [email protected] or 410-730-0638.