November 2, 2009
MARC Workshop Inc. has been awarded a three-year, $241,976 grant from The Harvest Foundation to start a mobile employment program for disabled adults.
Competitive, minimum-wage jobs will be created for special education students graduating from the public school system.
“This new program will create employment opportunities for students in transition with disabilities, resulting in greater independence and an overall improvement in their quality of life,” stated David Draper, executive director of MARC Workshop. “For some, this program will provide the training and skills that can lead to permanent employment with local businesses, or afford them the opportunity to start their own small business.”
The Mobile Employment Program will increase the capacity of MARC Workshop to serve 75-100 more people with disabilities each year. It creates minimum-wage jobs for disabled adults in the normal work world, instead of in a sheltered workshop setting.
“What is exciting about this program,” said Nancy Cox, Harvest Foundation program officer, “is that it is community integration at its best, and it is mobile — it will come to you. Whether you are a business or a private individual, you can employ a mobile work crew to mow the lawn, do grounds maintenance, shred documents on site, assist with moving or run personal errands. The possibilities are endless.
“We are extremely pleased to be able to partner with MARC Workshop, the VA Department of Rehabilitative Services and the special education programs in the Martinsville and Henry County school systems to help get a program, that is transformative in nature, off the ground,” she added.
The Harvest Foundation researches and invests in programs and initiatives on health, education and community vitality.
MARC Workshop is on Jordan Street in Martinsville.
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