SKILS’KIN supports Team Fairchild

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Melissa Carlino
  • 92 Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Stretching from the front gate to the 92nd Medical Group, and from the 336th Training Group to the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, SKILS'KIN employees work hard to provide their services across Fairchild. SKILS'KIN is a Spokane-based non profit organization serving people with disabilities in the Inland Northwest and participation in the AbilityOne program, a federal initiative to help people with severe disabilities find employment. More than 75% of SKILS'KIN employees at Fairchild have some type of significant disability, whether physical, cognitive, or emotional/behavioral in nature.

SKILS'KINs contract with Fairchild has existed for more than 30 years and counting, with employees working under three divisions: custodial, grounds, and postal services. Each employee is contracted to a job that fits their disability. The custodial department covers a wide range of services including cleaning/sanitizing restrooms, stripping/waxing floors, vacuuming, collecting trash in offices and making the beds at the ALERT Facility. There are eight full time staff members assigned to the Child Development Center and four full time staff at the Fitness Center. The grounds department maintains Fairchild's landscape by clearing leaves, irrigation, flower and shrub beds and, starting in April, with mowing and fertilizing the lawns. Fort Wright cemetery is also maintained by SKILS'KIN employees. Finally, the postal service delivers mail exclusively to Airman living in the dormitories.

Custodial Operations Manager, Leona Williams, says it's a joy working for the government. "It gives people satisfaction to get a job where they are contributing."

"I can't move like I used to after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis," said Georgia Roberts, a SKILS'KIN employee and cancer survivor. "I can't bend my wrist and some of my fingers; it's hard to accomplish everyday tasks. SKILS'KIN gives people like me an opportunity to get back into the workforce."

Not only does SKILS'KIN provide disabled people with employment support, but they also provide community living services allowing individuals to live in their own homes with assistance to increase their independence, as well as protective payee services to assist those who need help with their finances to budget and pay their bills.