Work Inc. heralds new home, options

Work Inc., a non-profit organization that provides vocational training and employment for approximately 800 individuals with mental and developmental disabilities, celebrated its move to its new Beach Street facility with an open house and dedication ceremony last Thursday.

Last November, Work Inc. relocated from North Quincy to its new Dorchester facility, a refurbished warehouse in Clam Point which formerly housed Pollack Manufacturing.

Milton resident Donna Roman, a disabled Work Inc. client who packages soup mix sold at Crate and Barrel, spoke at the donors’ reception and expressed her appreciation to sponsors for contributing to Work Inc.’s relocation.

“There’s no more rain coming in,” said Roman, referring to the leaky roof of Work Inc.’s last home.
More than two times larger than the North Quincy facility, the new building houses three wings: a day-habilitation center, which helps clientele acquire independent living skills; a vocational department, where clients are employed in-house to work at one of the building’s six light manufacturing centers; and organization management offices.

The large storage areas, several loading docks and expansive interior of the facility will enable the agency to employ more clients in their in-house manufacturing operations.

Hillary Holly, a disabled client who makes lanyards and lives in Dorchester, voiced her approval for the new location’s improved conditions.

“For one I like the new building of Work Inc because we have a big place now,” said Holly in an address to donors. “It’s always busy, and we have a big cafeteria where people go to eat and enjoy their desserts – especially the ice cream.”

The new headquarters surpasses government disability access codes and regulations—each pastel-colored room in the day-habilitation center and the vocational department has a flat screen television to alert deaf Work Inc. constituents of danger.

“It’s really exciting. One of the things that struck me was the soup packaging room,” said Bill Rogers, whose uncle was a Work Inc. consumer. “I thought, ‘What a cool place to work.’ There’s a lot of open space here, and it seems like a smartly set up building.”

The building may also provide the organization with an additional source of income. Work Inc. occupies 85,000 square feet of the 134,000-square foot building—leaving two 2,500 square foot floors and 35,000 square feet of light manufacturing space available for lease.

Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray recognized the importance of 44 year-old non-profit’s mission in light of job losses caused by the recent economic downturn at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

“As Massachusetts leads the nation on this recovery and we add jobs as we have over the last four or five months, we want to make sure there are opportunities for every member of our commonwealth to participate in meaningful work,” said Murray.

The Work Inc. program will be expanded to include 100 more clients following economic rebound in the coming years, according to Work Inc. President James Cassetta.