ServiceNet’s Rooster Café Hosts Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services and Guests

Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services Kate WalshServiceNet recently hosted Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services Kate Walsh (pictured right), Acting Undersecretary of Human Services Dana Sullivan, and Commissioner of Disability Services Jane Ryder for a visit at ServiceNet’s Rooster Café. They were joined by State Senator Jo Comerford (Democrat – Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester Counties) Representative Lindsay Sabadosa (Democrat – 1st Hampshire), and other guests.   

ServiceNet offers several vocational training and employment programs for individuals with developmental disability, autism, brain injury, or mental health challenges, which enable them to gain vocational skills while contributing meaningfully to the rich agricultural life of the Pioneer Valley.   

At ServiceNet’s Prospect Meadow Farm in Hatfield, individuals care for animals, raise market crops, assist customers, and more. Participants in ServiceNet’s Rooster Café culinary program in Northampton prepare meals and serve customers, using many of Prospect Meadow’s farm-fresh ingredients. Through job coaching, hands-on experience, and workshops, participants learn vocational skills that apply to their work at the farm, café, and eventual employment in the community.   

While enjoying a few of the Café’s signature dishes, Walsh and guests heard from current Café employees about the positive impact the experience of working at the Café has had on them. Shawn Robinson, director of vocational services at ServiceNet, also spoke about his excitement and vision for these programs, including an exciting renovation and expansion project that is currently underway.  

“ServiceNet was honored to have Secretary Walsh and officials from the Department of Developmental Services join us to hear about the vocational opportunities being created and lives being improved through meaningful paid work offered by the Rooster Café and Prospect Meadow Farm,” said Robinson. “And we are grateful for the Healey administration’s commitment to innovative human service initiatives across the Commonwealth.”   

ServiceNet’s Rooster Café was one of two local visits for the group, which also toured the neighboring Whole Children and Milestones programs.    

(Pictured above: ServiceNet CEO Sue Stubbs, Rooster Cafe employee Danielle Rizzo, ServiceNet’s Director of Vocational Services Shawn Robinson, State Senator Jo Comerford, and Commissioner of Disability Services Jane Ryder)


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