Creativity and a Drive to Make a Difference Fuel Jason Skalski’s Passion for Vocational Services
Jason Skalski is the Program Director of ServiceNet’s Berkshire Vocational Services (BVS), which helps people with autism, developmental, physical, or mental health challenges gain the necessary tools and experience to find and maintain employment.
Jason has worked in human services for the last fifteen years in a variety of roles, supporting children with behavioral concerns, individuals experiencing homelessness, and individuals living with brain injuries. Jason is passionate about contributing to the communities around him.
“I want to leave the world a better place than I found it,” Jason says. “And I feel like working for mission-driven non-profits is one of the best ways for me to do it. I absolutely love coming to work. I’m learning and growing every day, and I know my energy is going toward positive change.”
Jason originally applied for work at ServiceNet’s Pittsfield Emergency shelter in 2020, but because he was a single father at the time, the role, which required a great deal of evening and overnight flexibility, wasn’t an ideal fit.
When the BVS Program Director position became open, ServiceNet’s Director of Operations for Shelter and Housing Programs, Erin Forbush, called Jason to ask if he might be interested. Jason was thrilled by the opportunity and has been running on all cylinders since.
Jason’s main role since starting is to rebuild the BVS program, which, like many day programs was hurt by the pandemic and staffing shortages. Jason has already seen exciting changes and is hopeful that the program will grow back stronger than ever.
Outside of work, Jason is a graffiti artist and competitive powerlifter, placing second in the US at the 2020 World Powerlifting Alliance (WPA) World Championships. As a passionate artist, Jason has integrated art into his work at BVS, with participants helping design murals and other creative endeavors.
“The way we bring in art, it’s not just about being creative in a specific way,” Jason says. “But it’s about finding out how to be creative. Because I feel like that’s what we do as staff when we work with individuals who have different needs. Together, we’re going to figure out what works just for them. And that’s an art in and of itself.”
For Jason, bringing creativity, determination, and a bit of “punk-rock spirit” to work every day is a truly rewarding mix.
“I enjoy this work so much,” Jason says. “It recharges my batteries when I’m here. I have the most supportive boss in Erin, who is phenomenal. And I have made friendships that will last a lifetime. I feel so grateful for this opportunity.”
Interested in employment within our diverse network of mental health and human service programs throughout western Massachusetts? See our current job openings and apply today.