BY BARRY WARNER
Camp Venture, Inc., a Rockland County based not-for-profit organization that services adults and children with developmental disabilities, joined the Just-A-Buck family as a retail franchisee in a partnership to create a new ath to employment for workers, many of whom were former program participants in the agency’s sheltered workshop. The alliance brought together the business know-how of a leader in retail, the non-profit agency and government support through State Senator David Carlucci’s economic development grant.
Executive Director Dan Lukens said, “I am very grateful to have partnered with Just-A-Buck and Senator David Carlucci and proud of all of our associates who have risen to the occasion to prepare for the opening of the store. Special thanks to Lisa Nolte who is the heart and soul of the operation.”
Many of the individuals with developmental disabilities will gain valuable training under the supervision of coaches, earn wages, have a community presence and feel a sense of pride as they provide outstanding support to the shoppers. Some of the tasks will involve stocking, receiving, cleaning, check-out, register and bagging. They will work alongside a store manager and other support personnel.
President of the Camp Venture Board and County Legislator John Murphy said, “We are bringing our consumers out of the shadows and further into the sunlight. We will advance our cause, as more shoppers meet our participants.”
President of Just-A-Buck Steven Bakst stated, “We are delighted to have people with abilities to contribute to their communities, to work where they live and gain experiences on a daily basis.”
State Senator David Carlucci specified, “We continue to break down the ‘silo mentality’ to ensure that the 800,000 developmentally disabled individuals statewide, move out of the sheltered workshops to a lifetime of opportunities. Not OPWDD (Office for People with Developmental Disabilities) hand-outs, but real-experiences in the world of work.”