HCN News & Notes

Work Opportunity Center to Cut Ribbon at New Community-based Day Service Facility

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Work Opportunity Center Inc. will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Aug. 23 at its newly acquired and renovated community-based day service (CBDS) facility located at 111 Park Ave. in West Springfield. Mayor Will Reichelt will cut the ribbon at approximately 9 a.m.

Established in 1969, Work Opportunity Center (WOC) initially served its participants through a center-based work-service model. Community-based day services were added in the summer of 2014. On June 30, 2016, center-based work services were discontinued for all participants, and those services were converted to CBDS. As of July 1, 2019, there are approximately 84 individuals participating in WOC’s CBDS services. On July 1, 24 program participants and five staff members transferred from the WOC facility in Agawam to its newest facility in West Springfield.

The CBDS program of enables individuals with developmental disabilities to enrich their lives and enjoy a full range of community activities by providing opportunities for developing, enhancing, and maintaining competency in personal, social, and community activities. Service options for individuals participating in the CBDS program include career exploration, community-integration experiences, skills development and training, volunteer opportunities with local nonprofits, health and fitness classes, socialization experiences, and support to enhance interpersonal skills, as well as the pursuit of personal interests and hobbies.

The renovation of the 111 Park Ave. facility is supported by a $5,000 grant by United Bank in addition to a $1,000 grant from the Rotary Club of West Springfield.

“The city of West Springfield is happy to have Work Opportunity Center return to West Springfield, and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership,” Reichelt said.

Added Robert MacDonald, executive director of Work Opportunity Center, “this new West Springfield community-based day services program will offer individuals from the West Springfield/Agawam area better access for working, volunteering, and exploring in their community. The program is designed so individuals will spend less time commuting and more time participating in community activities. More community involvement will help individuals become more comfortable in their community.”