NEWTOWN — State Rep. Mitch Bolinsky, R-106, recently participated in Take Your Legislator to Work Day with Ability Beyond, a local non-profit that provides community support services such as employment counseling and residential living facilitation to individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
Rep. Bolinsky shadowed Miles A., a Newtown native who participates in Ability Beyond’s Career Development Program.
The two shared stories about Miles’ success in the Integrated Employment program and how it helped him find and prepare for a job he loves, as a full-time customer service team member at Walgreens in Newtown.
Miles gave Rep. Bolinsky a rundown of some of his day-to-day front-door tasks, including opening the store to greeting customers, scanning items to upselling Walgreens’ Membership Rewards program, and reminding customers to get their flu shots.
He also works the warehousing department, where he takes inventory, unloads supplies from trucks, and stocks shelves.
“Ability Beyond has done wonders for Miles, his family, and our community,” said Rep. Bolinsky, who is a founding member of the legislature’s bipartisan Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) Caucus.
He added, “I’ve known Miles for many years and have watched him grow his job into a potential career with Walgreens. He loves his job, his managers and co-workers love him, and he’s on his way to living independently. He drives, is always on-time, and now, he’s exploring opportunities to live on his own.
“Although I’m confident that Miles could have accomplished much of this on his own accord, Ability Beyond really empowered him, gave him the confidence he needed, and trained him to bring his professional and personal goals into focus. Partnering with Connecticut’s Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, Ability is a force in our community.”
Ability Beyond has been in operation for more than 60 years, benefitting over 3,000 individuals throughout Connecticut and New York.
By partnering with businesses across a wide swath of industries like manufacturing and retail, it is able to offer its beneficiaries comprehensive job placement assistance while providing employers with a dedicated, quality workforce.
“When we reward workers’ ambitions with meaningful employment opportunities, our economy benefits and employers gain valuable additions to their workforce,” explained Rep. Bolinsky.
“I will continue to advocate for these win-win employment opportunities and do all in my power to make sure programs like Ability Beyond get the spotlight they deserve.”
In addition to employment assistance, Ability Beyond offers community living and in-home supports, as well as programs to assist young adults moving from secondary education to adult life.
More information about Ability Beyond’s work and services is available at abilitybeyond.org.