Nathan Christ is a lot like his fellow employees at the Lowe’s store in Madison Heights, Virginia. He proudly wears a Lowe’s vest, works hard and helps customers. But, while his colleagues work in a world full of sound, Christ can’t hear anything – he’s been deaf since birth.
Christ is no stranger to obstacles, and finding employment was one of them. The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) is one of many agencies Lowe’s works with to find and hire people with disabilities. That’s how Christ heard about the facility service associate job opening at his local Lowe’s store.
“Well, I’d shopped here [the store] before,” Christ said. “It was a nice store … and I thought, ‘Why not try?’”
The rest is history. Human Resources Manager Gregg Phelps said, “He was the best fit for the job because of his work ethic, character, values and experience.”
“He was the best fit for the job because of his work ethic, character, values and experience.”—Gregg Phelps, HR Manager - Madison Heights, Va.
Christ learned the job quickly and excels at his duties. He communicates with coworkers and customers through devices like his boogie board tablet.
“Sometimes customers don’t recognize that Nathan is deaf,” Store Manager Luke Adinolfi said. “But when they do understand, it’s a great interaction. He’ll use his tablet to help. And if he doesn’t know the answer, he’ll get them to someone who does. His interaction with our customers is just as strong as anyone else’s … even more impactful sometimes.”
And it’s those conversations with customers that give Christ a renewed sense of purpose.
“A customer came in and needed help, and I was able to solve the problem and help him out,” Christ said. “I felt important. I felt like I had a role here.”
“A customer came in and needed help, and I was able to solve the problem and help him out. I felt important. I felt like I had a role here.”—Nathan Christ, FSA - Madison Heights, Va.
Christ feels fortunate to have found the perfect fit at Lowe’s, and his coworkers feel lucky that he’s part of the family.