AMHERST, N.S. – There’s no quit in the clients at the Bridge Adult Service Centre in Amherst, just ask Robert Babineau.
“We love you.”
Babineau is one of 13 clients from the Bridge Adult Service Centre who work at 18 different business throughout Amherst and the surrounding area.
He was the final speaker at the inaugural Employee Appreciation Awards night on Nov. 7 at the Bridge Adult Service Centre, and he took the opportunity to thank the gathered employers for taking them under their wing and showing them the ropes.
The Bridge Adult Service Centre is a not-for-profit organization that provides day programs for adults with intellectual disabilities, and Anne March, the executive director, kicked the night off by thanking the employees as well.
“We planned this evening as a way to show our appreciation to all of the businesses in town for opening their doors to allow some of our clients to experience what it is like to work in our wonderful community,” said March. “The shear excitement and self-worth these experiences give to each and every one of our clients is amazing.”
The clients and employers take part in the Job Coach Program, which is headed by job coach Erika MacGlashen.
She provides job readiness training, helps clients find suitable employment, and offers on-the-job support for clients to help them adjust to the workplace.
As clients become more proficient at their jobs, MacGlashen spends less time on-site but continues to monitor the client employee and offers support when needed.
The Dr. and Mrs. H.E. Christie Community Foundation sponsors the Job Coach Program, and also provides financial support to the Bridge Adult Service Centre to help with the purchase of much-needed equipment, such as a dishwasher for the kitchen.
The foundation was founded by Hugh Christie about 10 years ago with $5 million.
Morris Haugg is the vice-chair of the foundation, and he was at the awards ceremony on behalf of the foundation.
“We’ve given a grant to support an employee (MacGlashen) who runs the Job Coach Program, and works with the clients to get them jobs,” said Haugg.
Employers taking part in the program are: Giant Tiger, King Pin Bowling, Dayle’s Grand Market, Weston Bakeries Ltd., Sobeys, Bright Beginnings Daycare, Lillian Albon Animal Shelter, Atlantic Windows, Red Cross, Bambinos, Pet Value, Amherst Farmers Market, Needs Convenience Store, Centennial Villa, Victoria Manor, Subway, The M.A.R.S Store, and Wal-Mart.