Brand-new Work Team at St. Ben’s in St. Joseph, MN!

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A brand-new Opportunity Services Work Team has been on site at the Gorecki Dining and Conference Center at the College of St. Benedict since early January. The work team manages the dish room every day, Monday- Friday. Usually there are 5 work team members in addition to their on-site job coach, Wayne. During their shift the work team clears, cleans and sorts dishes and silverware. They also restock the stations in the dining area, making sure to keep all areas clean and running efficiently. Previously, St. Ben’s utilized student workers in the dish room, but the fit wasn’t quite right- students were busy during the lunch hours, when they typically have the most classes. Phil Paulson, Culinary Chef Manager at St. Ben’s had previously worked with an Opportunity Services work team and recommended a partnership between Opportunity Services and St. Ben’s.

Opportunity Services is a nonprofit that assists adults with disabilities to find employment out in the community. With many local clients living near or in St. Joseph where St. Ben’s is located, this job site seemed like a perfect fit! Carmen Welinski, Culinary Manager could not be happier with the partnership thus far. “The Opportunity Services work team is doing a great job. They have been quick to make changes and adjust to their new work environment. We are impressed with their flexibility and the benefits of having Wayne here as the on-site job coach.”

The Opportunity Services work team has been just as impressed with the St. Ben’s staff. Two of the staff leads are going to take sign language classes so they can learn how to better communicate with the clients who have hearing disabilities on the team. What an amazing group of employees who have truly invited the Opportunity Services team into the St. Ben’s family. “I truly enjoy working with the team here and I know the Opportunity Services clients feel the same,” says Wayne, Opportunity Services Job Coach. “These clients love coming to work everyday and are not afraid to learn something new. The staff at St. Ben’s have been incredibly welcoming, going above and beyond to make us feel like part of the team.” This partnership is an example of the thriving synergy Opportunity Services hopes to find with all of its business partners. The work site at St. Ben’s gives the clients an amazing opportunity to be out in the community, doing a job they love.