Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Della's Chocolates Partners with The Arc of Orleans County

Join us in celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Spotlight on Della's Chocolates
During the month of October, The Arc of Orleans County is celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month.  Many local businesses have partnered with The Arc of Orleans County by hiring individuals served by the Supported Employment program.  There are several options available for businesses who are interested in hiring an individual served by The Arc of Orleans County - Tradional Supported Employment, the Employment Training Program, and Direct Placement. 
Della's Chocolates, located at 512 Main Street, Medina, is owned and operated by Susan Fuller.  Last year, she hired Jennifer Haberger, through the Employment Training Program.  The Employment Training Program (ETP) pays the wages of employees with disabilities who are hired in the community. NYS will pay the wages for up to one year with the employer gradually assuming wage responsibility as the worker gains experience and knowledge of their job.
Jen started working two days a week, with Jen's wages being paid by New York State, as she trained and gained work experience.  Since then, Jen's hours at Della's have increased; she's now working three days a week, with Fuller paying for one of the work days.  Jen will eventually be fully paid by Della's Chocolates.

Susan Fuller, owner of Della's Chocolates with Jennifer Haberger
The Arc of Orleans County's Community Relations Department visited Della's Chocolates and had the opportunity to talk with both Susan Fuller and Jennifer Haberger to get their opinion of the Employment Training Program offered by Supported Employment. 
Susan Fuller, owner of Della's Chocolates:
Is this the first time you have hired a person through Supported Employment?  Yes.
Why do you support the Arc of Orleans County and this program?  It just fits.  It is mutually beneficial for Della's, The Arc, and for Jen.  Jen is willing to learn and is excited about coming to work.
How many hours does Jen work?  She works three days a week from 10:00 to 3:45.  We have expanded her hours from her original schedule.
Would you recommend this program to other businesses?  Yes, we all benefit, and the placement of Jen here at Della's has worked very well.  We're not letting Jen go anywhere!
Jennifer Haberger, employee:
How long have you been working at Della's?  One year, going on two.
What are your jobs?  I help make chocolate.  I also package and label the chocolate.
What is your favorite thing about working here (Della's)?  I like that it's small and not crowded.  I like working for Susan.  

For more information on The Arc's Supported Employment program and how your business can partner with the Arc of Orleans County, please contact Melissa Cotter, Supported Employment Manager, at 585-589-0305 ext. 4325.

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