WorkSource Enterprises is a private not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that was established in 1967. WorkSource provides job training, employment opportunities and support services for persons with disabilities. It owns and operates several small businesses to carry out its mission.
WorkSource serves approximately 250 local citizens in the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson counties.
WorkSource is governed by a Board of Directors of nine individuals and operates on an annual budget of approximately $2.5 million, with a staff of 35. Funding comes from fees for services, sales of commercial goods and services, grants and contributions. Management and general and fundraising expenses as a percentage of total public support and revenue were 12.4% for the year ended June 30, 2016.
While those with intellectual disabilities are the largest group served by WorkSource, those with learning disabilities and mental illness also represent a large percentage of the client base. Others served include special education students, individuals with autism, sensory impairments and traumatic brain injuries, as well as former substance abusers.
The origin of WorkSource was a large on-site assembly and packaging operation. The division continues to provide job training and employment through sub-contract work for regional companies. Heat sealing and mailing services are available. Clients enrolled in the program develop good work habits such as teamwork, staying on task, punctuality and regular attendance.
In September of 1994, WorkSource opened BreadWorks Bakery, which is located at 923 Preston Avenue. Persons with disabilities are incorporated into most aspects of the operation, including measuring, mixing, food preparation, packaging, cleaning and retailing. In March of 1998, BreadWorks was expanded to include a carry-out delicatessen. The deli menu includes sandwiches, subs, soups and salads.
BreadWorks products are also available on-line through Relay Foods and are sold at many local retailers. The list of restaurants and eateries that purchase BreadWorks products is long and impressive.
The WorkSource Day Support program offers a mix of pre-vocational, educational and recreational activities. Community integration is the primary goal of this program and on-site activities are combined with field trips, outings and volunteer activities. Some clients also have work activities incorporated into their individualized service plans.
WorkSource maintains an AbilityOne contract with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to provide housekeeping and custodial services for the Federal Executive Institute (FEI). Approximately 15 individuals with disabilities train and work on the contract.
Approximately two-thirds of WorkSource clients take advantage of its Community Job Placement services. WorkSource employment specialists, also referred to as “job coaches,” work with clients to determine job skills, to identify interests, to assist with interviewing techniques, and to help plan and conduct a job search. Employment specialists provide on-the-job training and follow-along support for as long as is necessary.
For the year ended June 30, 2016, WorkSource assisted approximately 160 individuals seeking to obtain and maintain employment with approximately 100 regional employers. WorkSource clients earned over $940,000 in taxable wages in fiscal year 2016 in jobs held in the local community. Specialized services are offered through school-to-work and welfare-to-work transition programs. BreadWorks also serves as a resource to assess the appropriateness of the food service positions for individuals in the job placement division.
WorkSource programs and services are accredited by CARF – the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. WorkSource is licensed by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and is an approved vendor for the Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services. It is an active member of the Virginia Association of Community Rehabilitation Programs, also known as vaACCSES. WorkSource staff members are active in various professional and civic organizations.