Mill Neck Services Celebrates NDEAM

Mill Neck Services is very proud to have Savers, Inc.  as a valued business partner and happy to nominate them for NDEAM award for being an exceptional "Employment Partner" in providing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The Savers family of stores is a global thrift retailer offering great quality, gently used clothing, accessories and household goods. Their Rethink Reuse® business model of purchasing, reselling and recycling gives communities a smart way to shop and keeps more than 700 million pounds of used goods from landfills each year. They also help more than 100 nonprofit organizations by purchasing donated goods from them, which provides a source of revenue to help support vital community programs and services.

The relationship with Savers and MNS had a bit of a rocky start 3 years ago when MNS was just beginning to roll out new Employment Training Program (ETP) services. Although MNS has a long history of approaching businesses for competitive employment opportunities, when Frank Adamo at Savers had more questions than our staff could answer about everything that a situational assessment would entail, a communication breakdown occurred which might have been the end of the story for most businesses. Not so for Frank Adamo. He contacted MNS Coordinator of Employment Services with his opinion on the follow up that (sadly) did not occur and offered us the opportunity to not only clear the air, but gave us a chance to prove our commitment to his business.  

Shortly thereafter, MNS conducted a situational assessment at Savers and a few months later this same individual was hired as a full time employee of Savers. Savers staff and management was very receptive to the sensitivity and communication training provided by MNS staff in the course of training this individual. They even implemented a more visual training tool developed by MNS staff that was easier for their Deaf employee to follow.   Since it incorporated a universal design, they found it useful and applicable to their staff at large. Later, when this employee struggled to meet production goals even using this tool, and was not able to complete all required tasks, Savers was able to accommodate this by adjusting her job responsibilities. She is now performing quite successfully and her efforts to get a jump on the early morning sorting of donations also helps the team – a win, win situation that we all strive for and can appreciate.

Savers accommodated a second candidate’s preference to work a part time schedule and has worked very cohesively with MNS staff which was particularly important when his mother began to contact them on a host of non-employment related issues. He is now working independently since his case was closed with ACCES VR, but Savers staff knows to contact MNS should he require ASL communication assistance beyond the skill they have developed. The culture at Savers is completely representative of their official diversity policy, which reads:  "We’re in the business of unique treasures — especially the people we hire. All abilities, ages, ethnicity groups, genders, religions, sexual orientations are welcome here. We will provide reasonable accommodations, on request, through our recruitment and selection process; just let us know what you need. You truly can come as you are and be accepted and appreciated for the distinctiveness you bring." years! 

Finally, Savers offered a summer work experience to a Mill Neck Manor Student – providing her valuable experience for that ever important FIRST JOB that is so crucial to each of us. She did so well and became so integrated into the amazing culture at Savers, that she was retained after the Work Try Out ended and she stayed on, working weekends and school vacations even when she returned to school in the fall.  

 Frank Adamo and his team at Savers in West Hempstead clearly embody the "big heart and even bigger vision" of the Savers brand. He is committed to creating a culture that is "open, affirming and entrepreneurial". They make "solid career development" a priority and make sure their employees feel both appreciated and challenged.  We look forward to working together going forward as we collaborate to develop the skills and contributions of the employees they have hired through Mill Neck Services. Savers is not only "an impressive thrift store, a community champion and a revolutionary recycler" but also brilliant business partner that deserves this NDEAM Nomination.