CompuWorks Partners with Berkshire County Arc to Provide Workplace Training Opportunities for Adults with Disabilities
Pittsfield, MA (September 14, 2017) – CompuWorks—a managed service provider (MSP) that provides IT services to small and medium-sized businesses announced it is continuing its partnership with Berkshire County Arc, a nonprofit that serves children and adults with Autism, developmental disabilities and brain injuries, to provide paid internship opportunities through the organization’s Advantage Employee Network (AEN).
AEN is the employment division of Berkshire County Arc that connects older teens and adults with disabilities and companies that provide internship opportunities for workplace training and experience. The program’s goal is to help individuals with disabilities achieve a higher level of independence by facilitating their transition into the working world and equipping them with employable skills and interpersonal relationship coaching.
CompuWorks opened its doors to BCArc mentees to explore the world of IT and show them how learning technical skills could provide opportunities that exceeded even their own expectations.
“They asked us if we could find a place for a young man who loved computers,” said Joe Andrews, Vice President of Operations of CompuWorks. “We want to be more than just a technology company—and have always been involved in the community. So we brought him on and it was the best decision we could’ve made for everyone involved.”
Jesse, a 19-year-old high school student was the first AEN-sponsored intern at CompuWorks. When he started, he was always accompanied by an employment trainer to ensure he remained in his comfort zone. As he progressed with the mentorship of the CompuWorks team, he gradually became more confident, eventually shedding his mentor and even accompanying technicians on local appointments.
“The transformation is inspiring,” said Matthew Speed, a CompuWorks partner who manages the BCArc account, “halfway through the internship he decided he needed to get a driver’s license—something he’d never expressed interest in previously. I think the internship gave him a real sense of independence.”
After Jesse completed his internship, CompuWorks decided to stay involved with AEN and is now working with its third intern, who also expressed interest in computers. The team has been able to coach him into the role and he’s made significant strides in both his performance and interpersonal relationships.
“It’s a small sacrifice for us to make in comparison to the impact we’ve had on their lives,” said Speed, “they’re more than whatever challenges they’re dealing with—they’re now people with marketable technology skills that will follow them into a very bright future.”
According to Rick Hawes, Director of Employment Services for Berkshire County Arc, their relationship with CompuWorks precedes their managed services contract. “CompuWorks utilized our employment services long before they had an IT contract with our agency, always putting their community commitment first. We appreciate CompuWorks’ continuous effort in supporting individuals with disabilities”.
CompuWorks began in 1987 with the goal of helping businesses understand how computer systems can impact their workflow. CompuWorks provides IT services at a predictable, affordable monthly fee, working with businesses in just about any industry to provide managed services. CompuWorks uses a unique, integrated consultation process so clients always have proactive support and expertise available. To learn more, visit CompuWorks’ website or call 413-499-0607.
About Berkshire County Arc
Founded in 1954, Berkshire County Arc is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization providing a broad range of community-based services to 750 individuals with developmental disabilities, brain injuries, and autism throughout Berkshire and Hampden Counties in Massachusetts. The agency offers three-day programs, 37 residential programs, employment services, citizen- and self-advocacy programs, respite services, an adult family care program, and Zip ‘N Sort Mail Services. For more information, media professionals may contact Katrina Cardillo at 413-499-4241, ext. 254 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.bcarc.org.