This is the third post in our month-long series highlighting some of our most valuable employment partners in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. For our second feature, we are highlighting the Department of Public Works in Malden!
Triangle, Inc.’s primary location in the heart of Malden has resulted in a steadfast partnership with the city for 47 years. We are lucky to have support from all corners of Malden, which is crucial for our continued success. One of the valuable ways that the city shows its support is through different types of employment opportunities. Malden’s Department of Public Works (DPW) provides a valuable path into the workforce for many Triangle program participants, and illustrates the potential for a productive employment partnership.
Triangle has been working with the Department of Public Works in Malden for several years now. While on the job, individuals work to clean paths, parks, and streets around the community. This is a steady and consistent job for the crew. Something unique and exciting about this site is that the individuals are working directly for Malden, and get to take home a weekly paycheck from the city. This partnership helps to show what a truly connected community can do – together, we are working to improve the city.
The DPW work-site prioritizes building independence for the workers. After working on the job for an extended period of time, members of the crew build confidence in their skills, and can work more independently. Building this sense of self-assurance opens the door to a world of future employment opportunities, both in the city of Malden and beyond. Fostering a nurturing and challenging environment on the job allows for program participants to expand their horizons.
Fruitful employment opportunities like this allow the symbiotic relationship between the city of Malden and Triangle, Inc. to grow and flourish. The worksite at Malden DPW is another great example of how meaningful work opportunities can empower the workforce. It ties in perfectly with this year’s NDEAM theme: “America’s Workforce: Empowering All.” We will continue to celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities next week with our final feature!
Next to an expansive, grassy park in East Boston, with breathtaking views of the Boston skyline in the background, Triangle, Inc. program participants geared up nearly every Saturday this past summer, rain or shine, to take on Boston Harbor, thanks to Piers Park Sailing Center’s Adaptive Sailing program.
Piers Park Sailing Center is a non-profit community sailing center dedicated to providing accessible sailing and marine science opportunities to people of all abilities and ages. Founded in 1998, Piers Park prides itself on having docks and a building that are 100% ADA compliant at all points of the tide cycle. In the words of Piers Park’s Executive Director, Alex DeFronzo, “It is a venue to make Boston Harbor and sailing generally more equitable and accessible.”
Their Adaptive Sailing program has served over 1,000 people with disabilities since its inception. Piers Park’s founders saw sailing as a way for the public to enjoy Boston Harbor, regardless of financial status or ability. Alex emphasized that this mission continues today: “You don’t need gas, you don’t need money, you just need the desire to learn and accept that mother nature is in charge when you’re out on the ocean.” This spirit of inclusivity and equity extends onto the water. Piers Park can adapt the sailing experience to each individual’s needs, but at the end of the day, everyone contributes equally in the boats.
This year, Triangle and Piers Park embarked on a new adventure together. Triangle’s CEO, Coleman Nee, who also serves on the board of Piers Park Sailing Center, had the idea to partner up to bring a new education platform and therapeutic group to Triangle residents through a six week sailing program. Participants were able to go out every Saturday to learn basic sailing and water safety skills, concluding with a graduation ceremony to celebrate the completion of the program. The first program was so successful that we were able to offer a second one later in the summer, which just finished this month! Despite the cooler weather, the graduation was a great celebration of six weeks of hard work.
Encouraging an active, healthy lifestyle is a priority in our residential homes. Triangle’s residential staff members go above and beyond to make sure that everyone is getting opportunities to be out in the community, enjoying New England’s beauty. Ensuring that the individuals who live in our homes are empowered and feel supported enough to take risks in the community is crucial to Triangle’s mission. Piers Park Sailing Center allows Triangle program participants to enjoy fun-filled days of sailing in Boston Harbor in a safe, inclusive atmosphere, and we can’t wait to work with them again next spring!