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Why VERC Commits to Hiring People with Disabilities

Leo Vercollone, President

At VERC Enterprises we have long held the belief that hiring members of the communities we serve makes sound business sense – and that includes those with disabilities.

Like most businesses, we consistently made good on our pledge of community advocacy through car washes to benefit schools, sports team sponsorships and scholarships.

But along the way, we realized that our mission to support and encourage should travel along an additional path – by reaching out to individuals who have physical or intellectual disabilities and associated challenges and offering them employment. We recognize that employment not only supplies a paycheck, but also provides that important sense of a “place in the world,” to everyone, including members of a population far too often overlooked as potential employees.

We originally set a goal of having a workforce made up of 5% of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). That number now stands at 20% — translating into over 50 employees with ID/DD filling various positions, including administration, stocking, cleaning, landscaping and assisting at our auto wash locations as car preps.

In addition to local applicants who apply for work independently, we have developed a strong network of resources that includes BAMSI, Minuteman Arc, Plymouth Arc, Best Buddies, The Point After Club and numerous other Massachusetts-based agencies committed to helping people with long term mental illness find and secure employment, housing, education, services and support in the community.

Hiring people with disabilities has had a positive impact for our stores, our customers, our communities and our entire staff. The employees that we bring in under this program are excellent; they are productive, do a great job and add to the workplace culture. And let’s not forget smiling faces that have FUN at their jobs! Isn’t that the ultimate definition of a good business move?