Members of Tochnit Avodah, the Vocational Training Program, work in camp for three hours each day. They work in the gan, the mercaz, the dining room, the education department, on the ropes course and in the guest house.
Wednesdays is everyone’s day off. We take trips which are sometimes fun, sometimes educational and sometimes both. On the last Wednesday of camp, we had the opportunity to see if the job skills we are learning are preparing us for the world of work.
Thanks to the generosity of Fairfield Inn by Marriott and Walgreens Distribution Center (both in Windsor, CT), Voc Ed got a taste of two very different work environments. Both companies are leaders in hiring and training people with disabilities.
At Marriott, we got a back of the house tour, where we got to see rooms being made, and laundry being washed in huge, industrial machines.
At Walgreens, we was items being scanned, and put in bins for distribution. What a treat to see one of our Tikvah friends, Aaron Rudolph, working at his detrash station, opening 90 boxes per hour and placing the items in bins! Walgreens is a true leader they employ approximately 200 people with special needs out of a total of 430 workers.
We returned to camp tired and inspired about what visionary companies can accomplish. It is comforting to know that some companies recognize that by thinking out of the box and making accommodations, people with disabilities can be very productive!