In June 2019, Zachary Owens started working on SOAR365’s contract with the Visitor Center at the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation base in Chesterfield County (also known as the Defense Supply Center Richmond at Bellwood). He was in a part-time position, and his primary responsibility was to verify credentials of people entering the base. Zachary quickly became known for his friendly greeting and excellent customer service, but he never wavered from ensuring that authorization was secured before letting someone on the base.
A year later, a full-time position in the Visitor Center opened, and Zachary’s strong work ethic made him a perfect candidate. Now, Zachary has taken on additional and more challenging responsibilities, including inputting data in multi-functional databases, capturing fingerprints and photos, and issuing federal identification cards. And he remains just as meticulous, yet welcoming, as ever.
While SOAR365 and the Visitor Center team feel lucky to have Zachary on board, he says he’s just as lucky. Between the friendly co-workers, the consistent and straight-forward processes, nice customers, and adequate time to perform his duties, Zachary says he truly enjoys his job at SOAR365. By providing Zachary with pictorial aids (like “Stop, Think & Act”) before he makes his decisions, assuring him he’s doing his best, and practicing role-playing scenarios, Zachary’s manager, Trish Atkins, creates an environment in which Zachary thrives. Zachary has Asperger syndrome, but at SOAR365 and the DLA base, that has never slowed down his success. “Zachary is such an asset to our team, and everybody appreciates his reliability and pleasant attitude,” says Trish.
Zachary first learned of the position with SOAR365 from a partnership between SOAR365 and Courage to Succeed, a UMFS program that seeks to help students earn an associate degree while working with social coaches and peer groups on study skills, experiential social activities and self-advocacy. Zachary has an associate degree from J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.