Chamber News

October 04, 2017 Likes Comments

Transition to Work provides access to undervalued resource

At a time when skilled, committed, and valued employees are tough to find and keep, individuals with disabilities are an undervalued resource of dedicated and successful colleagues.

Transitions to Work is a supported employment program that  aims to connect the employers to individuals with disabilities. The organization is a collaboration among Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Jewish Vocational Service, and the Ruderman Family Foundation.

The goal, said Janis Robbins, Coordinator, Inclusion and Support Services, is to “put each individual in a position to succeed.”

Among Transitions clients is the JCC Greater Boston, where Zach Franco, a Transitions to Work graduate, has achieved that success. As health club attendant, Franco has mastered the organizational and cleanliness standards required to provide exceptional service to members. Franco loves his work, likes keeping things neat and clean, and “feels great working hard and earning a paycheck”.

Tim Cornely, the JCC’s director of member relations Cornely raves about the pride Franco takes in his work and his attention to detail.

“Zach sets an example for all of the staff. Hiring Zach is a win/win for Zach and the JCC Greater Boston,” says Cornely.  

Transitions to Work employer partners hire graduates and people of all abilities because it is good for business. Benefits to a company with inclusive hiring practices include: 

  • Higher Productivity. Employees with disabilities typically exhibit higher loyalty, lower turnover, and contribute to the collegiality of the workplace.
  • Increased Market Share. Individuals with disabilities and their families reflect an expanding customer base and are loyal patrons of companies that support inclusive hiring.
  • Expanded Talent Pool. Individuals with disabilities are an underused poolof talented, skilled,and qualified applicants. The unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities is roughly twice as high as the general population.
  • Public Relations. Inclusive hiring positively impacts a company’s image.
  • Diversity and Morale. All employees report a higher degree of workplace satisfaction when working in integrated teams.

To learn more about inclusive hiring visit


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