So, you'd like to work in the community? The Employment Department at The Arc of Opportunity has a job for you. We partner with a variety of local businesses to give a wide range of employment opportunities to our individuals.
The Salvation Army in Fitchburg is one of the locations where people are independently employed. It is also a site for volunteer work.
Ben has been working in independent employment now for 3 months at The Salvation Army. He was in the Pre-Employment Transition Program, (PETS) when he began his journey with The Arc. After successfully completing an internship at Habitat for Humanity – Restore in Leominster, he was hired by Salvation Army.
Ben is in the “shed.” This location is the large building to the left of the main building where people drop off their donations. It is very busy and keeps Ben on his toes. He receives donations, hands out tax-exempt slips, assists with loading the box truck that comes to pick up donations and cleans up the area around the building. As soon as the pile of donations starts to dwindle, more is donated. Ben is also responsible to inform people when a donation is not acceptable such as mattresses, car seats, cribs, etc. He has learned to be very diplomatic.
There is a group of six individuals from the Community Based Day and Employment Supports program who also volunteer their services in the main building. The group goes every Thursday from 10 AM to 2 PM. It has been two months since they started and they look forward to going to work there. Our very ambitious volunteers are learning new skills. They sort clothes, attach price tags onto clothing, hang clothes on the selling floor, remove outdated clothes from the racks, straighten clothes, dust Knick knacks and re-arrange the shelves so items look appealing. The color coding system makes it easy to learn for our individuals. Clothes are hung by colors and sleeve length. Customer service is so important in a retail setting. The people we support are helping to give a positive face to shopping there. “The Sally Boutique,” as it is affectionately known, is very supportive of our individuals. The staff is helpful, supportive, warm and encouraging. They look forward to our individuals coming every Thursday to work alongside them.
Adam is one of the volunteers at Salvation Army. Adam chose to stay at The Arc and not participate in community work for a long time. With the encouragement of staff and friends he has since gotten the volunteer spark and enjoys going to the Salvation Army. Adam enjoys talking with staff and peers about helping others and he enjoys sharing photos with his friends. He is very capable and works with his family in a landscaping and snow removal business on weekends.
Are you interested in learning more about PETS and employment services at The Arc? Please contact Maggie Rooney for PETS, Tracey Hecker for Group Employment and Harriet Klayman for Individual Competitive Employment at 978-343-6662.