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Young man with mustache and goatee wearing a sleeveless, neon yellow SOAR365 t-shirt.

Meet James

James started training for his job in Landscaping & Grounds Maintenance at an early age, thanks to his dad’s landscaping business. “I’ve been cutting grass since I was five,” he says proudly.

“I like to take my time. I like to get everything perfect and in line,” adds James. Years of practice mowing, weed eating and more have given James a good eye and high standards.

Even so, it can be hard for people with disabilities, like James, to find a supportive work environment. Some employers may be hesitant to give them a chance to show what they can do.

Luckily, at SOAR365, James has found a job that feels like home. Even though the team works hard, “we’re always having fun together,” says James. “It’s one big family.”

James and Randy Britt, SOAR365 Director of Commercial Grounds, get ready to start their day.

Bringing a Positive Attitude to Hard Work

James is a self-described dog lover. “Dogs are more understanding. They just want to love you and play with you,” he says. But he has a big heart for his co-workers, too. Whenever one of them is down, “I cheer them up. Make them happy. I make them laugh,” says James.

His sunny outlook brightens the day for the whole crew. “Mr. James. That’s my guy, love him to death,” says Weldon Hall, Crew Leader. “I call him my little brother. And James has probably taught me more than anybody out here. I’ve noticed since I’ve been working around him, I’ve never seen that guy upset about anything. He’s always smiling.”

Sometimes James finds treasures hidden in the tall grass, and excitedly shows them off to his co-workers. “You can tell it’s just making him so happy. And I’m like man, I wish I had that,” says Weldon. “I wish I could just find happiness in the simplest little things. So yeah, I learn a lot from that guy.”

Teamwork Helps Overcome Challenges

“I like this job. Good benefits. Good people to work with,” says James. “You meet a lot of interesting characters.” Compared to his previous landscaping jobs, “I make a lot more money.” He also makes lots of friends. One of James’ favorite things to do with his paycheck is to treat a friend to lunch.

Still, James faces certain obstacles to employment, like transportation. While he usually uses Uber or Lyft to get from his group home to work, this can be expensive. Co-worker Rodney Braxton has given James rides in the past, but he also taught James how to use the city bus system. He even took him on his very first bus ride! “It was kind of cool,” says James.

“I was parking here, and I was riding with him on the bus. And then I would catch the bus back here and take my car home,” says Rodney. He explained to James that bus drivers are there to help and showed him what to do if he ever missed his stop or got lost.

Sometimes employees with disabilities “just need a little guidance or structure,” Rodney notes. He’s happy to help provide that. “That’s what we do here.” Rodney says it all comes down to kindness and treating others how you’d want to be treated.

Rodney is quick to support his co-workers with disabilities. “To get respect you have to give respect,” he says.

James appreciates the encouragement of his co-workers. Their support gives him the confidence to try other new things as well, like operating a stand-on mower. He loves working at SOAR365 so much that he’s encouraged two of his friends from his group home to apply.

The only thing that could make the job better? “A dog in every truck!” he says with a grin.

To learn more about how Business Solutions hires people with disabilities and supports our programs, visit

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