All hands on deck at Ability Works
The Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services has a singular goal to provide individuals with disabilities opportunities for independence.
This mission is accomplished through invaluable partnerships with businesses throughout the state.
It’s all hands on deck at Ability Works in Gulfport, one of 15 sites throughout the state where those with disabilities build upon their skill set and get ready for the full-time work force and chosen career path. MDRS Business Development Representative Tiffany Parrish said, “We have a lot of business services available to help individuals with disabilities. We have an internship program, where a business in the area can help an individual with a disability and that individual can work in a business and gain really good knowledgeable experience, and we at the MDRS pay for the wages and workers compensation insurance.”
Businesses on board with the program provide priceless opportunities for confidence building, valuable hands-on work experience, and opportunities for those with disabilities like Kenneth Ferrari whose work pace lives up to his name. “I’m assembling a DCT crab trap. What we do is just put the top and the bottom together, and then staple it through, and then staple the ends, which are the baffles, and then put in the staples and the rings.”
The crab traps they make will eventually land at Bass Pro and Academy Outdoor and Sports stores from Texas to Florida. “I feel great. I was in a nursing facility for a few years, and I didn’t think I’d ever be working again to be honest with you.”
“That’s one thing we do at MDRS, we help individuals with their career goals. We do training at our Ability Work locations, and that’s one thing we also help with determining different job goals and helping those in the community to find that career path. We’d love to get you in and tell you about the services we have available.”
To find out more about these programs call MDRS at 1-800-443-1000, visit their website at www.mdrs.ms.gov, or check out the Facebook page for the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services.