Opportunity Partners joins Arc in new training program

Janet working retailA new training program tailored to the retail sector joins Opportunity Partners and Arc Greater Twin Cities as educational partners, with curriculum support from Dunwoody College of Technology.

Opportunity Partners is working with Arc Greater Twin Cities to develop a formal educational and work experience training program, using Arc’s Value Village Thrift Stores & Donation Centers for training sites. The effort is an expansion of Arc’s current programs that support young adults, their parents and professionals in ensuring students’ successful transition from school to community life.

The training collaboration was announced March 5 at “Wear It Well,” Arc Greater Twin Cities’ 4th annual gala. Opportunity Partners was a proud sponsor of the event, which drew 535 people and raised over $215,000, including $62,000 specifically for the retail training program.

“We want to raise the bar on employment of people with disabilities,” said Kim Keprios, Chief Executive Officer of Arc Greater Twin Cities. “Having a job opens doors to a better life. Work brings us purpose, greater financial security, and social connections and friendships. We all want to take pride in what we do and in knowing we are contributing to the community.”

Opportunity Partners will work with Dunwoody to create the curriculum, and the program will align with today’s retail business needs to ensure participants are prepared to work in retail settings. This will be the second formal educational track in which Opportunity Partners has collaborated with Dunwoody. The first program, professional cleaning, was launched in 2010 and has involved 25 students as of spring 2011.

“We are excited and honored to work with Arc Greater Twin Cities on this training collaboration,” said Opportunity Partners President and CEO George Klauser. “With our expertise in how people with disabilities learn, Dunwoody’s experience in curriculum development, and the opportunity to use Arc’s Value Village stores for community-based training, we make a dynamic team for people with disabilities who want to train and succeed in employment.”

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