LRCS has a longstanding strong commitment to assisting individuals to achieve their career goals. Supporting employment opportunities is a primary focus of adult community services and recent efforts and initiatives in job development, internship programs and public relations have combined to increase opportunities for job success.
The ‘Success at Work’ ad campaign sponsored by LRCS and the Region III Family Support Council helped to promote awareness of the positive impacts of an inclusive workplace and the advantages of successful long term employment.
Area businesses and organizations that hire individuals with disabilities consistently report a high degree of satisfaction. In turn, those they employ learn new skills, gain greater independence and experience the sense of accomplishment and purpose that goes along with having a paying job.
Dan Palmer supervises Matt Fink, an employee of Granite State Glass, who was featured in the ad campaign. He says that Matt has a very strong work ethic. “He shows up on time and knows exactly what to do and what is expected of him. He always gets his work done,” said Palmer.
Kathy Keller, director of New Beginnings in Laconia, also has strong praise for Laura Michaelis, who has been employed with that agency for 12 years. “Laura’s spirit and great work ethic has done a lot to help shape who we are at New Beginnings while helping survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Laura is extremely reliable and is someone we know that we can always count.” Laura has gained much from her tenure at New Beginnings, especially, “learning to be assertive through those whom I’ve worked with,” she said.
As a part of the state-wide Area Agency system, LRCS’ has been actively pursuing the shared goal of developing sector-based training opportunities to create more employment options as well as establishing job clubs in two of the high schools within our region.
The STRIDE internship program is a 15-week, sector-based training program at Plymouth State University that is operated as a partnership between Sodexo (the company that runs Dining Services at the university), LRCS and Plymouth Interns learn about nutrition, portion sizes, how to clear tables, wash dishes and prepare various menu items. Sodexo offered employment to three of the first four graduates of the program. A second class graduated from the 15 week session and has also found success.
LRCS partnered with Centerplate at Gunstock this winter to offer the ‘CRAVE’ Internship graduating their first class this spring. Mary MacDonald, Centerplate Assistant GM talked about the success of the program at the CRAVE graduation ceremony. “The interns came in and developed as a team and helped us all grow. I am blown away by how our staff embraced this program. It has been wonderful to watch our employees have an opportunity to be a mentor to an intern. They embraced the interns and together worked with humor, patience and collaboration. The impact Centerplate has had on these interns pales in comparison to the impact they have had on us.”
And most recently a hospitality and food service internship program was launched with LRCS and The Common Man. Common Man Hospitality Advancement Mentoring Program “CHAMP”, a 10 week internship program started in March of 2014 and concluded with a successful graduation ceremony on May 27, 2014.
LRCS believes every person should have the opportunity to access and maintain meaningful employment and is committed to assisting people with disabilities reach their career goals. For more information on employment services please contact a LRCS job developer at 524-8811.