This is the fourth and final post in our month-long series highlighting some of our most valuable employment partners in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. For our last feature, we are highlighting Malden Housing Authority!
Last week, we turned the focus of our series to our thriving partnership with the city of Malden. This week, we’ll shift the spotlight onto a different department within the city. Triangle, Inc. partnered with Malden Housing Authority (MHA) earlier this year to develop another strong supported employment worksite, and the relationship has grown and flourished over the past seven months.
MHA offers Triangle’s program participants valuable work experience in the community. Currently, the Triangle crew works on cleaning two different apartment buildings in Malden. The individuals perform a wide variety of janitorial tasks while on the job, including vacuuming, mopping, washing windows, wiping down furniture, cleaning bathrooms, and more. One exciting aspect of this opportunity is that it is a way to bridge the gap between supported and competitive employment. Group employment is a stepping stone towards independence and a sustainable career, and this is especially true at sites like MHA. The goal for this site is for Triangle participants to work for several months to gain and develop new skills while on the job. Then, once they are comfortable using those skills, individuals can apply them to other employment opportunities.
Besides developing valuable skills, participants also become more independent and confident while on the job at MHA. At first, the crew completed the tasks together. Over time, they began to work more independently and spread out through the building. Now, individuals are given assignments on different floors, and work to accomplish those tasks. The on-site job coach monitors and checks in on each floor throughout the day. One of the buildings that the team works on is nine stories tall, giving everyone an opportunity to learn and tackle different parts of the job!
As National Disability Employment Awareness month draws to a close, we can step back and appreciate how our employment partners help Triangle continue to best serve individuals with disabilities. We’ve always recognized that employment is a critical step towards becoming independent. We believe that community-based supported employment can act as a gateway into competitive employment for many of our participants, and we wouldn’t be able to provide such innovative and comprehensive employment services without the continued support of our partners!