All stories of good intentions do not necessarily end as expected. Early in 2016, Dean Ricker, Skolnik’s VP of Sales, became interested in a program to help employ Chicago’s youth.
The Manufacturing Careers Internship Program was launched in 2011 and is responsible for the successful placement of hundreds of youth in gainful employment. The program includes a “boot camp” type of training for the candidates which includes tours to manufacturing companies around Chicago.
Dean offered Skolnik to be a host company and 18 potential interns toured and marveled at our manufacturing process and culture. One student that stood out, Adonis Clayton, was selected to be the Skolnik intern and from the first day of his internship, we witnessed a transformation of character and dedication. From sleeping in his car to insisting on wearing a tie to work every day, Adonis was working to become a gainfully employed Chicago resident. Skolnik employees all championed Adonis as he became known as “Mr. Wonderful.” Furthermore, we saw his talent emerge and he felt attracted to the practice of Engineering.
It was all going well and we allocated time for Adonis to complete his GED. However, in late August, Adonis stopped reporting to work and, we believe, his personal life got in the way of his progress. At this point, his future at Skolnik is unsure but our door is still open. Even if Adnonis chooses not to return to Skolnik, we hope that his time at Skolnik will always serve to help him reach out for a bright future.