By Kaitlyn Krasselt
Photo: Keelin Daly / Contributed
Kallian Miller, right, an employee of Abilis, and Ellen Vant, who receives services from Abilis, break from work in the Abilis Community Network workshop. Miller has worked for Abilis since 2001, spending nearly 10 years with Abilis Residential Services and four years as part of the Abilis Employment Services team. Ellen has been receiving residential and employment support for more than 11 years. Miller has been a consistent part of Ellen’s life since 2004, she attributes her longevity with Abilis to a passion for human services and a commitment to advocacy for people with disabilities.
Those looking for a career in human and social services will have an opportunity to learn more about working with one Greenwich organization by attending an open-house job fair Oct. 15.
Formerly known as Greenwich ARC, Abilis is a Greenwich-based business with an office in Stamford that provides services for people of all ages with disabilities.
Keelin Daly, marketing director for Abilis, said the job fair is an opportunity to learn about many current openings at the company, as well as to network and get acquainted with Abilis for potential employment.
“We have several openings and a lot of potential for future engagement,” Daly said. “We have a lot of opportunities for people interested in human services work to network, meet with us and get to know our company. We currently have openings on the administrative side and the residential side.”
The job fair will take place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Oct. 15 at the Abilis office in the Glenville section of Greenwich, 50 Glenville St. Daly said while Abilis is hiring and applications will be available at the event, it can also be an exploratory opportunity for anyone who’s unfamiliar with Abilis or unsure if they want to work for it. She said it is good to bring a resume, but it isn’t a requirement. Additionally, Daly said anyone interested in working with the company who can’t make it to the job fair should contact Abilis to set up a meeting for another time.
“We’re growing a lot,” Daly said. “Abilis is very progressive, and working here has a lot of potential in tons of career paths. The heart of Abilis is the people we serve, and it’s a great place to work.”
Abilis has been working with people with disabilities for more than 60 years to provide lifetime services for everything from childhood development to employment placement to relationship and family support programs.
The employment program has had particular success in helping people with disabilities turn a perceived obstacle into an asset, Daly said. According to Abilis statistics, more than 80 percent of people with developmental disabilities are unemployed. The Abilis employment program, which is different than the job fair, helps train and people with disabilities for jobs in communities throughout Fairfield County and help them make the transition.
“It’s so rewarding to meet people who have all sorts of talents and skills, and help them find a place where they have a sense of purpose and meaningful work,” Daly said.
Abilis was founded in 1951 by a group of Greenwich parents who wanted their children with developmental disabilities to have the opportunity to attend public schools in the area. By the next year, they had succeeded in that goal, and from there the company grew into an advocate and service provider for those with disabilities throughout the region.
Jobopenings with the company include administrative positions in human resources and accounting, as well as residential services, working with a variety of programs including in-home care and the employment placement program.
“We can affect people throughout their lifetime in a positive way, and that makes it a really rewarding place to work,” Daly said.
“The walk is very important for everybody,” said Amie Slade.
Funds raised at this walk go towards Abilis programs. Abilis is a non-profit committed to serving those with developmental disabilities throughout their whole lifetimes. Amie Slade has learned greenhouse skills at Abilis.
“I practice at the greenhouse because they give me more knowledge and independence,” said Slade.
With everything she has learned, she was able to get a job at Bow and Rose Floral. Slade is a great example of an Abilis success story, so she was named the Ambassador of the upcoming walk.
“I like being on a team,” said Slade.
But the walk is not the only event coming up- Abilis is also holding a job fair this Thursday, October 15 from 8:00 to 8:00.