Port of Seattle honors Sea-Tac custodian

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by MIMI JUNG / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @MimiJungKING5

KING5.com

Posted on June 22, 2010 at 6:56 PM

SEATAC, Wash. - He takes out the garbage, picks up the trash and does it at such lightning speed, it's clear Mike Bulling is no ordinary worker at Sea-Tac Airport.

"He's here everyday on time, gets the job done. Every employer should have ten Mike Bullings," said Bob Kendrick, manager of Capitol Building Maintenance.

You might be even more impressed with Bulling when you learn what challenges the 33-year-old has faced in his life.

He was born 6 months premature with an umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and he weighed only 1 pound 5 ounces. He has cerebral palsy, a learning disability, and struggles with motor skills.

But Bulling says, "Some people may call it a disability. I call it advantage."

Even with his disability, Bulling's boss says he was more qualified for the job than 90 percent of the applicants that come through his door. Bulling credits what he learned through Tacoma Goodwill's Supported Employment Program.

The program helps people with disabilities education, job training and placement. After Bulling graduated from the program, he insisted Kendrick hire him, even though there wasn't a job opening.

"I told them we didn't have any jobs and he was persistent," said Kendrick. "We talked for 10 to15 minutes and I hired him. I created a job for Michael."

Today, he was honored by the Port of Seattle Commissioners for being awarded Tacoma Goodwill Graduate of the Year.

"My mom always says I can do anything I can put my mind to and she's right," said Bulling.

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