In 2016, Express Employment Professionals put 510,000 people to work, ultimately putting food on the table for thousands of families. But one man’s efforts to care for his family were so inspirational that he was recently recognized as the Express Associate of the Year at the company’s annual International Leadership Conference in San Francisco.
Mike Black began working for clients through the Columbia, Missouri, Express office four years ago and has since completed an astounding 24 assignments. That amount of work would be admirable for average associate, but Black struggles with a disability.
He lost his left eye some years ago and is slowly losing vision in his right. He receives a small pension for his disability, but not enough to support his family.
“While he has his own disabling problems, he still completes his assignments, he rarely misses any time on long term-assignments, and he is a huge advocate for Express,” office manager Manessah Delgado said. “Clients often request Mike because of his incredible work effort.”
Recently, Black has encountered some financial difficulties and has had to sell his house where he lives with his wife, who is also disabled, and their 18-year-old daughter.
“It is amazing the way he is able to make the most difficult assignments, sometimes up to an hour away, and to be requested back by the client,” Delgado added. “He always shows up and puts all of his effort into his work, and does it all with an outstanding attitude and a smile on his face.”
Express CEO Bob Funk was proud to recognize Black at the leadership conference.
“With so many giving up looking for work, Mike has proven that a job can provide hope, even in the most difficult of circumstances,” Funk said. “Employment not only pays the bills, but can provide a sense of purpose. I thank Mike for the inspiration he has provided not only to his co-workers and managers but also to the company as a whole. His incredible work ethic is why he has been named the Express Associate of the Year.”