At the young age of 15, Bruce Amstutz set a course for a lifelong career. Diagnosed with a learning disability, he was often picked on in school, but he was determined to push on. He told people, “You can say what you want about me, I’ll just push myself higher.”
And he’s done just that! A Goodwill Custodial Services Area Manager, Bruce has been promoted three times in 11 years, consistently taking on more and more responsibility.
Bruce’s journey to success began as a Grandview Heights High School student. Often wondering what it would be like to be a custodian, he began volunteering at the school during the summer to learn the ropes of custodial work. With his interest piqued, he enrolled in the Columbus City Schools Janitorial Program at Goodwill that helps students build custodial skills, opening doors for employment after graduation. During the program he learned to stay positive, always be friendly, openly communicate and remain focused.
Immediately after graduation, Bruce was hired by Goodwill as a custodian. He was responsible for the cleanliness in several buildings across The Ohio State University campus. Two years later he was promoted to Support Supervisor, with the added responsibilities of serving as a floating supervisor, running machinery, coordinating the work activities of custodians, and responding to requests from facility building managers.
Influenced by his manager’s push to excel, combined with grit and determination, within one short year Bruce was promoted to Assistant Manager, overseeing 13 employees. Always wanting to improve, Bruce worked hard and was promoted again two years later to his current position of Area Manager. He oversees 25 employees and 10 buildings that are part of Goodwill’s custodial contract with Franklin County.
“I’ve always believed in myself and pushed myself to succeed. I keep striving to be the best I can be and am passionate about everything I do,” said Bruce of his growth within the management ranks.
“At 30, I feel much wiser than my age. I’ve had a lot of barriers and struggles in life and have learned from my mistakes.” said Bruce. “I have a passion for helping fellow employees overcome their obstacles, serving as a mentor, communicating with them and helping them better themselves.”
Bruce is an advocate for all individuals with disabilities. He was honored as Goodwill’s Extraordinary Person of Promise at the 2013 Extraordinary People Luncheon, celebrating the accomplishments of inspiring individuals who have overcome barriers on their journey to independence. He also represented Goodwill Columbus at Advocacy Day in Washington D.C., meeting with members of Congress to advocate for job training and Workforce Development program funding.
What’s next on Bruce’s agenda? “I want to keep building my own brand. I’d love to eventually become the General Manager of Custodial Services and own my own business.
“Goodwill helped me embrace my dreams,” said Bruce. “Never give up on yourself – if you believe you can do something, just do it.”