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Work Opportunity Center Inc. announce that it is a recipient of a grant to help purchase a wheelchair-accessible minivan. 

The Beveridge Family Foundation Inc. contributed $8,000 towards obtaining this important means of transportation for program participants of the Community Based Day Services program (CBDS). The program will use the funds to obtain a wheelchair-accessible vehicle that will bring people to activities in the community, which will positively impact the organization’s participants who need this type of vehicle to access the community. They will be able to use generic resources such as the library, stores, fitness centers, and museums as well as go to volunteer sites and jobs.  

CBDS enables individuals with developmental disabilities to enrich their lives and enjoy community activities by providing activities in five core fundamentals: education, social, health and wellness, life skills, and employment/volunteer. Career exploration, community integration experiences, skills development and training, volunteer opportunities with local non-profits, health and fitness classes, and socialization experiences are some of the activities provided within the program. The CBDS program currently services 84 individuals in the Greater Springfield area.   

Daily News

AGAWAM — The board of directors of Work Opportunity Center Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals with developmental disabilities obtain employment in the community and promoting social inclusion, has appointed Mary Akers as its new executive director. Akers replaces long-term Executive Director Robert MacDonald, who retired after 40 years.

Following a 15-year career at American International College, where she served as associate athletic director and senior woman administrator, Akers joined Work Opportunity Center as its first assistant executive director in February 2015. She has held the position of interim executive director since January 2021.

“I have been privileged to work under the direction of Mr. MacDonald and feel honored to be given the opportunity to carry on his legacy of providing excellent, personalized services to our program participants,” she said.

Akers holds an associate degree in business management from Elizabethtown Community College, and she received both her bachelor’s degree in business and MBA from American International College.