by Shelly Schmidt
There are not many businesses where you can walk in the doors and hear Bruno Mars and see a crowd of people dancing through the office. What is even more rare is personnel leading the flash mob with a Bluetooth fanny pack speaker.
Quality of life
Vocation Plus Connections, Inc. lives by the “work hard and play harder” mentality, and management instills this in each person that is employed or served by the organization.
VPCI is a community-based vocational rehabilitation program that serves adults living with developmental disabilities. The goal of the program is to enhance the lives of individuals living with disabilities by creating opportunities for them.
For each person, this means something different. It could be helping someone find or maintain a job that is meaningful to them. For someone else, it could be providing them a space to learn how to advocate for themselves or gain the confidence to show off their dance moves amongst their peers.
VPCI utilizes the help of multiple community partners to make this happen. They partner with over 20 local companies who work with individuals living with disabilities. Employers have the option to hire individuals directly or work with a team of individuals through supported employment. With the support of VPCI staff, these employees grow their professional skills and excel in the workplace.
VPCI also operates Snacks To You, a food delivery service that sells fresh food to businesses throughout the city. All menu items are made from scratch and delivered right to your desk—how can you beat that?
Businesses who work with VPCI are provided with skilled, efficient, and capable employees. Business owners report that employees enjoy the opportunity to work alongside this population and that the overall morale of the staff dramatically increases.
Most importantly, the lives of the individuals are forever changed. VPCI provides for people who may have been overlooked or conditioned to think they can’t be independent, and creates a productive life for them.
Finding a balance
VPCI teaches and emphasizes the importance of a healthy work/life balance. Classes are held during the week to encourage people to engage with others, even when they aren’t working. Individuals participate in arts and crafts activities and self-advocacy workshops, attend the gym, and much more.
VPCI is also actively involved in facilitating community awareness for both individuals living with disabilities and the community at large. Most recently, VPCI volunteered at a Fresno Fire Department training to assist responders in search-and-rescue drills. Later this year, VPCI will be hosting town hall meetings designed to create a space for first responders to become familiar with individuals living with disabilities.
Check out Vocation Plus Connections, Inc. to learn more about this great organization.
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