Louis came to Community Service Alliance’s Procop House in the fall of 2019 in early sobriety with very few resources except a job as a laborer with a siding company. When the pandemic hit in early 2020, Louis lost his job, but he maintained a positive attitude and worked with the CSA staff to get back to work as quickly as possible.

A small job opportunity became available in late May painting steam pipes on a short-term basis with one of CSA’s employer partners, Werner G. Smith, a chemical company located in Cleveland’s Flats area. Louis jumped at the opportunity to do some work, and did a professional job on the pipes each time he was asked to work. With his commitment and energy being proven each time, the company gave him more work. “The more I took on, the more they gave me, so I just kept showing up,” says Louis.

Eventually, the employer recognized real potential in the young handyman. “We all figured out he was a smart guy,” says company President Bill Grulich, “and we agreed he should be given the chance to become a kettle operator.” They offered Louis the opportunity to take an aptitude test designed to measure understanding of Chemistry and mathematical ability, and he achieved a perfect score on the test, higher than anybody in the company’s 109 year history, even though Louis had no previous experience in the field!

Louis was hired in at the beginning of July and began training under an older Kettle Operator who’d spent a career at Werner G. Smith. When that gentleman retired at the end of 2020, Louis took over for him on second shift, and he continues to work at the company full-time with full benefits.

Louis has since moved on from CSA, has his own home and is engaged to be married. But he credits the support and assistance of Procop House and the CSA staff with leading him on the road to success.

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