The Arc – Center of Hope Foundation, Inc. Southbridge, MA hosted a Community Business Connections (CBC) Appreciation Breakfast on May 20, 2014, at the Southbridge Hotel & Conference Center, thanking its community business partners. Our relationships with local and national companies have provided employment to individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. These have led to direct employment, sub-contract work at the agency’s NORESS Corporation and purchasing of services/products at the Center’s other 13 small businesses.
Informational tables of local business partners and networking opportunities kicked off the CBC Appreciation Breakfast, along with a video presentation created by Center of Hope Foundation employees Ben Doyen, Cindy Howard and Jennifer Williams. This provided an overview of the agency and its Employment Supports program and the development of the agency’s small business model of integration. Photographs of individuals working in agency businesses and in the community emphasized how work positively impacts one’s self-esteem and personal growth.
Self-advocate Erin Power shared how community employment has led to personal growth and expressed appreciation to both the agency and employers for the satisfaction she receives by working in the community. Work opportunities, presented by agency small businesses and community businesses, have given Erin more independence, confidence and a sense of pride.
Testimonials from Fred Cormier of Angel Guard Products, Alix McNitt of South Central Mass Chamber of Commerce, Jeffery Ide of Henke – Sass, Wolf of America, Thermohauser Division and Kevin Keith of Fall Prevention articulated the Center of Hope Foundation’s reliability, high quality of work, flexibility and cost effective services.
The Arc – Center of Hope Foundation, Inc. would like to again recognize and thank the many businesses who have opened the doors of opportunity to people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Your support helps agencies, such as ourselves, fulfill the mission of people with disabilities having a meaningful life, acceptance and inclusion within the community.