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The Arc Jacksonville hosts superhero-themed Job-a-Palooza

TIAA Bank was one of more than 20 businesses to co-host event

Jason Hamilton, right, stands with students at Job-aPalooza, co-hosted by The Arc Jacksonville and TIAA Bank. Photo submitted to News4Jax.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Arc Jacksonville, TIAA Bank and 21 other local businesses co-hosted Job-a-Palooza last Friday.

Job-a-Palooza was a superhero-themed competition that showcased the career abilities of 14- to 21-year-olds with intellectual and developmental differences. 

During the event, students rotated through various employers' workstations, where they competed among each other to complete tasks that potential employers would need to carry out.

Jim Whittaker, president and CEO of The Arc Jacksonville, said the organization was excited to work with TIAA Bank to help students show their job skills.

"TIAA Bank has been an incredible supporter of The Arc Jacksonville and a strong partner in our endeavors to make Jacksonville an inclusive community for all," Whittaker said.

TIAA Bank’s workstation featured a mailroom that required participants to sort through various enveloped and place them in proper mail compartments in two minutes.

"Today, students were able to discover their full potential, challenge themselves and learn new skills that will positively impact their lives, regardless of their circumstances," said Blake Wilson, president and CEO of TIAA Bank.

Jason Hamilton, a mailroom clerk at TIAA Bank with Down syndrome, was the inspiration for the bank’s station at the event. He has worked at TIAA Bank for 17 years.

"How cool is it that today, students get to discover their career superpowers, just like TIAA Bank helped me discover mine," he said.

Hamilton serves as a self-advocate on The Arc Jacksonville’s Board of Directors.