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The Arc: Paving a path to employment for those with disabilities

Posted at 5:36 PM, Oct 22, 2021

BALTIMORE — In observation of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, WMAR-2 News is spotlighting The Arc is paving a path to employment for those with differing abilities.

Thousands of sweat shirts, slide across this conveyor belt everyday at United Souvenir and Apparel and David Rogers is there to fold them and sort them out for distribution.

“I fold sweaters three times, the t-shirts I fold in six and the long sleeve t-shirts I fold in six, the hoodies I fold in three,” he explained.

Since starting in October 2019, he’s found his place becoming a vital player to the United Souvenir Apparel team.

“If the shirt has a mistake he’ll point it out. Alan stop the machine. It’s a spot right there I can’t even see the spot but he sees the spot so he keeps us in check as well me and Steve at the same time and that’s pretty hard for one person to do,” said Alan Ingram, a screen printer at United Souvenir and Apparel.

David is an essential employee for the work he does everyday and equally essential to those he works with like Ingram who’s become David’s close friend.

“He speaks to everyone so even if you don’t feel like speaking, he speaks, ‘Good morning Alan, good morning Steve and he brings that out to everybody in here,” Ingram explained.

“These are invaluable team members that will be with you for a long time, they are there every single day consistently with a smile and really give back more than you’re giving them, the owner of United Souvenir and Apparel.

David got his start folding shirts through training at The Arc, who's focus is on helping those with differing abilities find and retain jobs across Maryland, work Katelynn Selchert has grown to love.

“You know that you’re making a difference in somebody’s life. You know that you’re helping them make a difference in their life and helping them grow and succeed and that makes you grow and succeed as well,” said Selchert.

But she’s in need of more teammates to expand their mission beyond the 90 people they’re supporting right now.

“We want to be able to provide more support and we can’t right now because we don’t have the capacity of the coaches to come in and support right now,” said James Phillips the senior director of Human Resources at the Arc.

The ARC is looking to expand their coaching team Creating a path to employment for more David’s.

“We’re looking for somebody who’s professional, somebody who has a strong work ethic. Knows how to train and communicate professionally and effectively to be able to help the people that we support,” Phillips shared.

The ARC tells WMAR they’re planning to bring 15 additional job coaches on-board this year as well as nearly 100 new employees within the next six months.

The Arc NCR job benefits include:

• Up to $1100 in signing bonuses

• Tuition reimbursement

• Flexible hours

• Flexible schedules

• Flexible locations

• PAID on the job training

• Educational opportunities

• Professional job experience

• The opportunity to make a difference in others’ lives.

Applicants who are mission-driven and are eager to help individuals live a meaningful life are encouraged to apply. A variety of jobs are available, including Coaches in Community Living, Personal Support, and Employment.

For those interested in employment with the Arc visit https://arcncr.org/apply/