Angelo Williams is the kind of co-worker you'd like to work with.
Friendly. On time. Hard working. Attention to detail.
That also makes him the kind of worker employers would like to hire.
He's experienced his broad share of interesting work environments, similar to many who work in the food industry.
But Williams was pleasantly surprised to walk into the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center at Mayo Clinic for the first time, more than a year ago.
"II didn't think it would be this nice and this up-to-date," Williams said. The facility fit him like a glove.
It boasts testing labs so customers can learn to cook healthy meals in a real-life kitchen.
Williams was assisted in his job search by Opportunity Services, a Minneapolis company that helps people with development and physical challenges acquire meaningful employment at companies where dedicated workers are particularly appreciated.
Williams got his dream job with Sodexo, a company that provides all of Mayo Clinic Rochester's food service on contract.
"They're a really flexible company and very much an advocate for those with disabilities," said Hannah Weiss, an Opportunity Services spokeswoman.
Public events, the Center Cafe at the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center and various types of catered meals for meetings, groups and classes keep behind-the-scenes workers bustling, including Williams. He's conscientious, working daily to get everything done in the morning that needs to be ready by the busy period of lunchtime.
Betty Lamecker, supervisor of supported employees for Opportunity Services, said the jobs that clients get through such companies aren't just short-term gigs. For many, there's hope for a long-term career. Working for Sodexo at Mayo Clinic fits that bill.
"For a lot of the clients that work here, it's their dream job," Weiss said.
Finding high-quality laborers to work in a Mayo Clinic atmosphere is not easy.
"The challenge, these days, is always finding good help — and then keeping them," said Mark Beland, Sodexo's Mayo Clinic executive chef. Collaborating with a company like Opportunity Services helps.
"It makes our jobs easier, and they're great to work with," Beland said. The executive chef personally appreciates Williams.
"I don't think he's missed a day of work, always has a smile, does a great job," Beland said.
Williams' supervisor, Korey Koziolek, said Williams fills diverse roles and has been willing to try new things. He handles assignments related to culinary nutrition, demo kitchens, cooking classes and the patient floor. He also works in food-production positions for all of those assignments, preparing the needed inventory of prepped foods ahead of time.
Of course, prepping and cooking results in dishes that need major cleaning. Williams digs right in, scrubbing afterward as well as prepping foods beforehand.
Williams said he does dish washing, food prep, dining-area preparation, beverage-cooler upkeep and attention to the food-related needs of the spa.
"My favorite part about working here, it's very mellow up here. it's quiet," Williams said. "Everybody's very nice, personable."
How does it feel to find your dream job, with a little bit of help?
"It's a great feeling," Williams said. "It's a real good feeling."
Lamecker said Williams offers suggestions and has become a company asset.
"He's great." Beland said. "If I had 100 Angelos, everything would be great."