WESTHAMPTON BEACH - The Best Market in Westhampton Beach found a perfect match when it hired a non-verbal 23-year-old who has autism.
Christopher LeMaire has been working at Best Market since it opened a few weeks ago. Chris is working part-time stocking and organizing shelves. He has a job coach with him to help him communicate.
His mom Maria says this is his first paying job since graduating high school.
“Everything about this job is tailor-made for him,” she says, “because he loves organizing, he loves restocking, putting things in the right places.”
Store manager Jose Collazo is impressed with Chris. He says Chris always has a smile on his face and is extremely meticulous.
“He's great at what he does,” says Collazo. “He knows how to do it and he does it consistently.”
Before the job, Maria says it was a struggle to find him work. She says over the past two years, they've applied to dozens of different jobs but no one would ever hire him.
“It was heartbreaking for a while,” says Maria. “We applied everywhere. People constantly turned us down.”
Best Market says it was more than happy to give Chris this opportunity.
“Chris is a success story for us,” says Collazo.
“I've always had faith in his abilities to do the work,” says Maria. “But it was convincing everybody else to see him differently. And Christopher has shown over and over again that he can he can do the job.”