Opportunity Partners helps employee shine at Home Depot

People with disabilities face all sorts of challenges in daily life. Those challenges are even more apparent when it comes to finding a job. 

If you need something for your DIY project at the Bloomington Home Depot, you might hope Dylan Dreifke is working.  

Dreifke can do something most of his colleagues can't. He can tell you the exact location of any product in the store. It’s an impressive feat, considering the countless merchandise shelved across all 56 aisles. 

"I've worked here for three and a half years,” said Katie Ventura-Mercado, a Home Depot worker. “I don't know the aisle. I know where they are, I could bring the customer, but he does. He knows exactly where everything is."

An impressive memory and a contagious smile aren't the only things that set Dreifke apart. He's living with cerebral palsy. With a motorized wheelchair to get around and an iPad to communicate, he'll help you navigate Home Depot four or five days a week.

"Dylan is so positive and friendly,” said Gloria Kim, a service coordinator with Opportunity Partners. “He's a go-getter. He's going around looking for people to help. He is always smiling so positive so great."

Dylan’s success is in part thanks to a non-profit called Opportunity Partners, which helps workers with disabilities connect with employers. This year, it's on track to help more than 100 people with a disability land an independent job in their community. 

His work friends call him "Hollywood" because he's so popular with customers. He's earned several customer service awards over his tenure.

“I like to help people and it's easy,” said Dylan.