WorkSource Enterprises is a private not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that was established in 1967. WorkSource provides job training and employment opportunities to people with disabilities. 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 disadvantaged students, individuals with autism, sensory impairments and traumatic brain injuries and former substance abusers.
WorkSource serves approximately 400 clients in the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson counties. It is governed by a Board of Directors of 11 individuals and operates on an annual budget of $2.75 million, with a staff of 35. Funding comes from fees for services, sales of commercial goods and services, grants and contributions. WorkSource receives funding from the United Way - Thomas Jefferson Area, the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign and the Combined Federal Campaign. Management and general expenses as a percentage of total public support and revenue were just over 12% for the year ended June 30, 2013.
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. In June of 2007, BreadWorks opened an eatery at the University of Virginia Health System’s Northridge outpatient facility on Route 250 West. BreadWorks products are also available on-line through Relay Foods and sold at many local retailers including C’ville Market, Integral Yoga Natural Foods, Rebecca’s Natural Foods and Shenandoah Joe Coffee Shops. 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. This program is licensed by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and most clients are funded by the Medicaid Waiver program.
WorkSource also owns and operates a janitorial service that is responsible for the housekeeping and custodial services for the Federal Executive Institute. Approximately 20 individuals with disabilities train and work in housekeeping services.
Approximately 70% of WorkSource clients take advantage of its Community Job Placement services. WorkSource employment specialists 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, 2013, WorkSource assisted approximately 286 individuals seeking to obtain and maintain employment with over 100 regional employers. 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.
In total, WorkSource clients earned approximately $1.7 million in taxable wages in the 2012-13 fiscal year through the programs offered by WorkSource Enterprises.
WorkSource programs and services are accredited by CARF – the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. It is an approved vendor for the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) and 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.