Viability at Business & Innovation Expo of Western Mass

Join us for this year’s Business & Innovation Expo of Western Mass!
The region’s best one-day business event! More than 150 exhibitors and 2,500 attendees are expected for a show that is packed with a number of special programs, speakers, and learning opportunities. Be a part of this incredible day!

Date: Thursday, November 2, 2017
Time: Show Floor OPEN 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. & Expo Social 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location: MassMutual Center, Springfield, MA
Cost: FREE ADMISSION with a Business Card

 

A new grant from a wonderful donor!

VIABILITY received a generous donation this week.  Forum House in Westfield received a grant in the amount of $7,200 from the Westfield Academy for our student internship program for students at Westfield State University to assist members in educational pursuits at Forum House.

Open House success!

VIABILITY hosted an open house at the Holyoke Community Living office to celebrate the new programs funded by the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Close to 100 people attended including; Heidi Reed the Commissioner who said; “We are thrilled to be working with VIABILITY and excited to be starting this new partnership in Western Massachusetts.”

 

Getting to Know the Staff

VIABILITY’s Better Together story of the week.  Zoraida Gonzalez (Z) has worked for the company for 29 years as a job coach in our Holyoke office.  Dick recently interviewed her about her work at VIABILITY.

Dick, “When did you become a job coach with the company?”

Zoraida, “July 1988.”

Dick, “What was your first experience like?”

Zoraida, “I was a bit nervous because I hadn’t had much exposure to individuals with disabilities prior to starting here.  It was the 1980’s and the schools still separated special needs students from the other kids. I was 20 years old and my first worksite was a mobile crew of seven cleaning Vanguard Banks. After the first day I knew this was the work for me.”

Dick, “What was your favorite worksite during the past 29 years?”

Zoraida, “ The training program we had at the Springfield Marriott, we helped dozens of individuals secure jobs there and the company was very supportive of our program.”

Dick, “Tell me a story of how you helped an individual.”

Zoraida, “Part of my job includes transporting workers to the site.  One person we serve named Esteban would ride in the front seat. Esteban had an imaginary friend who he would have very animated discussions with in the van and at the worksite. I told him that it was very distracting and that he should talk to me if he wanted the front seat.  He did, and from that day forward he always talked to me in the van and while at work.”

Dick, “You’ve done this job for 29 years, why?”

Zoraida, “Because everyone counts on me, the people we serve, their parents, the employers and the staff from the state who refer to our program. I am lucky to have found a job and a company that I love to work for! “

Dick, “What do you think about the merger?”

Zoraida, “While some staff we nervous I knew that the merger of Community Enterprises and Human Resources Unlimited would make us a stronger company. Dick, I know you count on me to do a good job and make good decisions, I also count on you to do the same.

Zoraida is a Job Coach 2 and oversees four coaches in our DDS employment services.  She helped form Club 25 for staff who have worked here for 25 years or more!

New contract with NY!

 VIABILITY has been awarded its second new contract this year. The New York Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) has awarded VIABILITY a contract to operate a Care Giver Respite Program through our New York branch. Brenda Catalano Director said “ I am thrilled to be able to offer this new program evenings and weekends for individuals we serve as well as for additional referrals from OPWDD”. We expect this new service will be an increase in business of over $100,000 in year one. Brenda has already been on the search for new space as our branch continues to grow.

Upcoming golf tournament

VIABILITY’s golf event scheduled for September 18th at the Southampton Golf Course in Southampton MA is well underway. To date we have received over $15,000 in sponsorships for the event. Every day sponsors, raffle and silent auction items keep rolling in. With the tournament six weeks away we will be doing a final push to fill the field and make this our best event ever. Our event goal is to clear $20,000 to $25,000 this year. Proceeds from the Karen Lachapelle Memorial Golf Tournament are used to fund member health and wellness activities for those we serve.

 

Save the Date-10/20/16-HRU Employer Recognition and Awards Breakfast Event – Sponsorship opportunities available

HRU SAVE THE DATE 10.20.16

Please Save the Date, Thursday, October 20, 2016 for HRU’s 2016 Annual Employer Recognition and Fundraiser Breakfast Event from 7:45-9:00 a.m. at Springfield Country Club. Sponsorship opportunities available here.

 

 

 

 

 

              

 

 

Progress in Ending Homelessness Celebrated!

On Friday, March 4, 2016,  close to 200 people gathered at Holyoke Community College to mark the region’s progress in ending homelessness. Read more about it here.

Check Presentation at Forum House “Friends” Meeting

Glasgow Lands Check Presentation at Forum House “Friends” Meeting.  Please click on the link to read the full article… Forum House presentation

 

 

Lighthouse Celebrates 30 Years featuring Danielle Goodwin

To read Danielle’s Inspiring story at Pioneer Valley Financial Group follow the link below:

Danielle Goodwin