St. Cloud, MN Quantum Leap Success Story


James Klinkner, a 26-year-old Sauk Rapids native, is definitely an Opportunity Services success story! James started working with Opportunity Services in 2012 when he became a member of a community work team in St. Cloud, MN.  Over the years he worked on various teams, including the Holiday Inn Express, the Kelly Inn, MTC and Sodexo at both Garvey Commons and Atwood Memorial Center. His favorite task on the work teams was doing dishes at Garvey Commons with the team there. Almost three years ago, James started to work with the Supported Employment team from Opportunity Services and once he was ready, he “quantum leaped” into his own job at Walmart. What an exciting step it was!

When he was hired initially, James did a lot of maintenance around the store. He was feeling quite nervous about the new job and needed some assurance that he was doing well. Once he was ready to move to another position, he was assigned to be a courtesy associate. Every shift he collects carts from outside and helps customers carry their bags out to the parking lot. Now James is a confident employee that lives the Walmart “save money, live better” motto! He enjoys interacting with customers and has received many compliments for his high quality customer service. “James is a great employee- we’ve never had any complaints about him,” says Rob Schreifels, Assistant Manager of Consumables at Walmart. “He is friendly, cheerful and always willing to help- overall a great associate.”

Eventually James would like to use his customer service skills to become a commercial bus driver in St. Cloud. He truly enjoys interacting with other people and brightening their day with his smile and positive attitude. Opportunity Services staff Rhonda Karels and Diane Wilcox have worked with James over the years to secure his job at Walmart. “James is a wonderful individual who has overcome many obstacles to be where he is today,” says Diane. “His story is a perfect example of what Opportunity Services tries to do for all our clients, help each individual find independence out in the community.” James’ story is inspiration for all Opportunity Services clients who are working toward a job of their own!