Guillermo Acosta is working two jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the summer of 2020, his job coach helped him find a job at Publix Supermarket #223 at 14601 S. Dixie Hwy. Acosta works there part-time as a Front Service Clerk for the Customer Service Department. While he greets customers, bags groceries, unloads carts for customers, and returns carts from the parking lot, he also sanitizes the carts to make sure each shopper has a safe experience.
He has a second job at YouFit Gym.
When asked why Acosta likes to work two jobs, he said, “to keep myself busy.” He also likes working to make money and is saving up to contribute as his family builds an addition onto the house for him to have his own living and dining area.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and APD is highlighting the workplace achievements of people with disabilities and the employers that hire them.
Acosta has a developmental disability and receives services from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities.
“Guillermo is very sweet, and he’s willing to do anything,” said Tanya Gomez, customer service manager at Publix. “He shows the same qualities we ask for in all Publix associates — good customer service and a positive outlook.”
When he first started at Publix, he had to learn how to do multiple activities during his shift, instead of doing one activity over and over. Like any new associate, he had to practice and remember to be patient with himself. He has now overcome that challenge and is able to transition from task to task much better.
As Acosta put it, “The bagging, that’s difficult for me, and now I have the hang of it.”
He has made friends with his coworkers, who made sure he was celebrated on his birthday.
In his free time, Acosta enjoys watching TV shows, playing NBA video games on his PlayStation, and going to the movies. He is a graduate of a culinary program where he learned baking skills.
He is proud to be able to help customers every step of the way. Even during the pandemic, he has continued working at both jobs as much as possible. He hopes to work more hours soon. His advice for someone who has a disability and is employed is to “work hard.” Acosta is a shining example of commitment and dedication.
APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, and work in their communities. The agency annually serves more than 55,000 Floridians with autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome.
For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit apdcares.org or call toll free 1-866-APD-CARES (1-866-273-2273).