After 26 years in the Navy, Chris Harsch went job hunting.
He had never heard of VersAbility Resources. Now as the Senior Supervisor for VersAbility at the Galley in the Northwest Annex, he’s found more than a job he looks forward to working every day. He’s discovered a nonprofit with a mission he supports.
VersAbility helps people with disabilities of all ages live, work and thrive in their communities.
Members of his family live with special needs, so he understands the challenges that population faces when seeking employment. Finding a place that not only gives that population a chance but also provides an opportunity for them to achieve, move up and excel at an advanced level is special.
“VersAbility Resources provides jobs for people that might not be able to get a job otherwise,” he says. “The organization gives opportunities to people with disabilities whether they’re minor or major. They find a job that a person can do that makes them feel whole and important.”
To be part of lifting others up, he says, is outstanding.
“I have two special needs workers who are shift leaders in charge of others. They started out just as workers and were able to move up.”
Harsch joined the Navy at the age of 21. Back then, the New Yorker was seeking a better life for his family. Working three jobs, he struggled to make a good living in pricy Long Island. He completed a vocational cooking program in high school, making foodservice a natural area to pursue in the military. Unlike many of his peers, he was stationed in Virginia Beach for the duration of his Naval career, retiring as a Senior Chief Petty Officer.
Harsch applied for jobs he was qualified for, but finally found the ideal fit when he heard about a position at VersAbility at the same base where he previously worked. He knew the operation well at the Galley of the Northwest Annex, located in rural Chesapeake, close to the North Carolina border. As a supervisor, he oversees all of VersAbility’s special needs personnel that works there.
The team atmosphere appeals to him — an aspect he compares to the Navy.
“If there’s a need, somebody is always willing to jump in and help,” he says. “If we weren’t a team here, things would get overlooked. We all try to keep each other on our toes and fix things before they become a problem.”
Harsch is most impressed by the work ethic around him.
“Nobody complains; they just want to work and do a good job,” he says.
Harsch encourages other veterans to consider VersAbility Resources when seeking employment after military separation or retirement.
“Look up VersAbility Resources, and you will be surprised at all the different jobs that they are hiring for and how many positions they have available,” he says. “They are located all around the world. Also, do something that you love and makes you happy and you will feel like you never worked another day in your life.”
If you are a veteran, person with a disability, or just someone looking for your next career move, visit VersAbility’s job page today and see what opportunities are waiting for you at jobs.versability.org.