Hands of Heartland’s Partnerships And the Opportunities They Provide
As part of our mission to support adults with developmental disabilities in being able to experience life to the fullest, one of our core initiatives here at Hands of Heartland is our supported employment services program. With the goal of providing the people under our care with the confidence to perform in the competitive marketplace, we’ve structured our program in partnership with local businesses around positions that take advantage of the skills we teach in our vocational enclave program. In this article, we’re going to first highlight our relationships with employers throughout the Bellevue and Omaha metropolitan areas to show where adults with developmental disabilities have achieved their dreams of independence in the workforce, and then look at the benefits of the supported employment services program to those involved at all levels.
Opening Doors For Developmentally Disabled Adults Throughout Bellevue and Omaha
Hands of Heartland’s supported employment program relies heavily upon the developmental disability center partnerships we’ve been able to form with businesses throughout our more than 20 years of serving the local community. Where we’ve had the most success is working with retailers and food & beverage establishments, as positions in these settings are well-defined, task-focused, and provide plenty of opportunity to interact with co-workers and customers in order to build and expand employee’s socialization skills. We’ve also made inroads with several other types of businesses throughout the local area where the settings facilitate the types of jobs people with developmental disabilities tend to excel.
We currently have people working through our supported employment services program with the Sam’s Club locations in Papillion and Omaha, the Hobby Lobby in Papillion, the HY VEE in Omaha, and at the Pendleton Woolen Mills location in Omaha. With these employers, our people help to stock shelves and keep products organized in the primary retail space, maintain the cleanliness of the facilities, interact with customers to help them find product, and help maintain shelving in the backstock areas.
The local food and beverage community has been very welcoming to workers from our supported employment program. We currently have employees placed with Chick-Fil-A, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s. Restaurants provide a wide array of activities well suited to adults with developmental disabilities, including keeping dining areas clean and organized and food preparation tasks.
We’re thankful for the supported employment opportunities hosted by several other partnerships, including Marcus Twin Creek Movie Theaters, DoubleTree Hotels Downtown Omaha, and First Star Recycling. Positions with these employers task employees similarly as those discussed above to perform cleaning and organizational tasks.
Supported Employment Benefits Extend Beyond Adults with Disabilities to Their Employers
It’s important to understand why Hands of Heartland’s developmental disability center partnerships are important not just to adults with developmental disabilities, but also to employers themselves. Employers who embrace diversity in their hiring practices statistically out-perform competitors, as doing so signals a company with leadership willing to take nontraditional approaches to business challenges.
If you want to step out of the box and explore the benefits of partnering with our supported employment services to support this amazing community of employees, reach out today to talk to our developmental disability center about how to get involved.