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Pioneer employee leads his team, helps out on ‘hot jobs’ and more

Josh Goldesberry is a hard-working young man of few words, but his determination and attention to detail speak volumes about him.

For the past three years, Josh has been an employee of Pioneer Vocational Industrial Services in Boyle County — a small, local factory that hires individuals with mental or physical disabilities in its day training program.

“We offer our labor to assemble, package, sort, label, rework, or inspect various products needed by the factories and business in our area to generate income for our team members while, in addition, enhancing their skill set to improve their overall quality of life,” says Steve Lovell, Pioneer’s director of marketing and production.

Photo by Robin Hart
Josh Goldesberry carries a finished chain guard to a pallet at Pioneer Vocational Services to be sent to the contracting business, Tarter Gate Company in Casey County.

Josh is 26 and his employment at Pioneer is the first job he’s ever had. He works 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. three days a week. And since he lives with his family in Lancaster and doesn’t drive, Josh rides a Bluegrass Ultra Transit bus to and from his job.

Before Josh was hired, he said he spent every day just watching TV and playing video games at home.

“This was a good opportunity when this came up,” Josh says. “I like working better.”

“It was a new experience and hard at first,” Josh says. “But it got easier … I like getting out of the house and it’s a good routine.”

Sitting in the break room and eating his breakfast at Pioneer, Josh says the people at Pioneer are nice and they helped him learn the jobs required of him. “They made me feel like family,” Josh says.

The large building on Corporate Drive is like most other factories with concrete floors, stacks of shelving filled with components for production jobs and semi trailers parked where finished products are stacked to be transported.

Josh, along with several other employees, is currently working on a Tarter Gate project making chain guards for some of its mowing equipment.

“We saw potential in Josh,” says Nicole Kirkland, director of Pioneer’s day training program, says. They decided to make him team leader.

“He knows everything about that job,” Kirkland says.

Josh handles all of the materials and makes sure everyone has the components they need for the job, Kirkland says. He also keeps a running total of how much work is completed, she adds.

If an issue arises or someone has a question about the job, Josh notifies one of the staff supervisors.

“He’s one smart dude.” Kirkland says.

When rush orders come into Pioneer — which they call “hot jobs” — Josh is usually asked to give a helping hand, Kirkland says.

“He’s very fast and very precise,” she adds.

“Josh is super helpful. And he helps his friends when the team goes on outings,” Kirkland says. “He’s very respectful.”

Josh brings his lunch to work and enjoys being with his friends and co-workers in the break room, he says. By the time he gets home in the evenings, he’s pretty tired and likes to rest and relax.

Josh is saving the money he’s earning and is planning on spending it when he travels with his family on vacation to a Florida beach.