ServiceNet setting people with disabilities up for success with new vocational training program
HATFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – ServiceNet cut the ribbon on a major renovation project at Prospect Meadow Farm in Hatfield Friday.
The program works with more than 80 people with developmental disabilities at two farm locations, offering vocational training. By transforming their farmhouse, they’re able to offer practical training to people with disabilities, to set them up for success.
While community leaders gathered outside, folks were putting the final touches on deviled eggs in the new commercial kitchen, that’s a big reason why people are celebrating.
Maddy Simarowski is in charge of cleaning the newly renovated building, she said this has been an important program for her over the last seven or so years. “We can make food, and we can sell to local businesses,” Simarowski says. “It’s great support and a great program for people with disabilities. I would highly recommend it.”
The renovation began last year, made possible through a nearly $600,000 social enterprise grant through the state’s executive office of housing and economic development.
ServiceNet Director of Vocational Services Shawn Robinson telling 22News, “Folks will be in a program that will last a year to 18 months depending on their needs where they’ll learn all the skills in carpentry and culinary that they need to find a successful career job in that field out in the community.”
Congressman James McGovern said this new program is all about opportunity, “People who have disabilities deserve to have opportunities, deserve to have the training so they can go into the work force and succeed and that’s what this is about.”
They’re looking to expand and have farms in the Berkshires and in the Orange-Athol area.