Tim Hick - A Success Story from the Ontario Region

Welcome back to the workforce Tim!

Tim Hick’s job as a courier with Purolator ended in August 2001 with a life-altering accident, but his career as an Inside Sales Representative with the same company has just begun.

Hick returned to work in his new position at the end of May 2004, after a prolonged rehabilitation process, thanks, in large part, to Link Up Employment Services for Persons with Disabilities, the federal government’s Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities and the management at Purolator Courier.

Of course, Hick’s own determination played no small part in his successful return to the workforce. “I’m only 32 years-old, I have a young son and a wife and a house to pay for. The banks don’t care whether you’re injured or not, they still want their mortgage payments on time.”

Hick suffered a broken neck when the family dog leapt from a dock and accidentally struck him during an evening swim at a cottage in Haliburton, Ontario. The injury left Hick paralyzed below the waist and with limited mobility in his arms and hands.

He had exhausted both Employment Insurance and Short Term Disability funding and his Long Term Disability payments expired in March 2004. When Hick approached his former manager at Purolator about returning to work, there were a variety of obstacles that had to be overcome before the company could consider re-hiring him. That’s when Link Up stepped in.

Through the Opportunities Fund, Link Up accommodated Hick with voice recognition software, a hands-free headset, and had high speed network cabling installed to his home so that he could qualify for his current role with Purolator. Link Up is also providing a six-month partial subsidization of Hick’s salary.

“When I got the call from my new boss at Purolator that the job was a go-ahead, the feeling was almost indescribable,” says Hick. “I felt such a sense of relief. Now I could contribute financially to the support of my family and be a member of the working world once again. It was an incredible boost to my morale.”

In addition to providing him with the opportunity to re-enter the workforce, Purolator has also provided Hick with re-training and are funding the lion’s share of his salary during the six-month probationary period.

“Most people look at work as a daily grind – until it is taken away from them. I’m not ready to spend the rest of my life in front of the T.V. all day long and no matter how many web sites and message boards you visit, it doesn’t provide the same challenge as working. The social interaction work provides is invaluable to me,” Hick says.