Going The Extra Mile, Both Ways

Go the extra mile. That’s a fundamental we revisit often in our daily work to enhance quality of life for the individuals we support—and a necessary effort for the relentless improvement we pursue. When collaborating with our partners, it’s well worth recognizing when a community partner gives that extra-mile effort, as well. Our new collaboration with Bio-Techne in Devens, MA for group employment is a prime example of such a valued employment partner.

Offering a diversity of group work opportunities as part of our Community Based Day & Employment Supports programming, from kitchen and dish-room positions at Fitchburg State University and custodial crews with the Boys & Girls Club, to material handling and fulfillment, we recognized room for growth with new and different opportunities.

With a mission dedicated to “providing innovative scientific solutions to better understand biological process and enable discovery,” Bio-Techne is also providing new and different integrated community employment for individuals supported by The Arc of Opportunity’s CBDES programming. The entire team at Bio-Techne has been entirely welcoming of our work group, offering hands-on instruction, quality assurance training, or simply friendly conversation in the communal break room, truly creating an immediate feeling of inclusion and collaboration from day one.

At Bio-Techne, a work group of six individuals, accompanied by a Support Specialist supervisor, report for work alongside other Bio-Techne staff to support fulfillment of specialized diagnostics tools. That work group quickly learned the process of reporting to work in a controlled environment, following the company dress code and suiting up with medical hair nets, safety glasses, and gloves.

This new work environment provides the foundation for the expansion of employment exposure, real-world skill-building and teachable moments that can help to take individuals to the next level in the world of community-based work.

Establishing a new and unique integrated worksite like the one with our partner Bio-Techne, as this small snapshot shows, expands the diversity of employment offerings and exposure available through The Arc’s day programming. When it’s done with a partner willing to go the extra mile by opening up additional QA trainings to accommodate our work groups, paying visits to our building to learn more about our agency-wide programming and the work we do in our community, and collaborating in a way that does right by our clients, it’s indeed a success worth celebrating.

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