See Me as Your Coworker

Alex Hayes loves his job at H.C. Duke and Son (manufacturers of Electro Freeze), and his company loves what he brings to the table! Not only is his working role a major asset to helping skilled operators become more efficient and productive, but his infectious enthusiasm and team player attitude boosts the morale and team spirit of everyone he works with at H.C. Duke and Son. His direct supervisor even said that ever since Alex has to come to work for the company, he personally has experienced much more work satisfaction. While Alex certainly has brought joy to the company, the company has also brought Alex many pleasures of his own. Alex loves payday and the perks that come with working at a company that manufactures the Electro Freeze, a machine that is essential for making Blizzards at Dairy Queen. His favorite days are Blizzard days when H.C. Duke and Son’s specialty products are tested for quality, and the workers all get tasty ice-cream samples. 

Alex got his position through The Arc’s Community Employment Services program, which provides local businesses with quality employees while reducing employers’ turnover and absenteeism through job matching and job coaching. Meg Pfoutz, Human Resources Manager at H.C. Duke and Son, was looking for potential employees during a tight labor market and knew that finding a solution meant reaching out to The Arc of the Quad Cities Area. Says Meg of the experience, “If companies have Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion plans, but do not include neuro-divergent communities or people with disabilities, then they are missing opportunities.” 

When it came to finding a workforce solution in the tightening labor market, the company made use of The Arc as a community partner, something more and more employers are discovering. Says Meg Pfoutz, “We have few unskilled positions, but we did have a number of choke points that didn’t require specific skills or certifications to fulfill.” She picked up the phone and spoke with The Arc’s Job Developer about customized employment which is an interchange between the Job Developer and the employer to find the best solution for the employer to match them with the abilities of people with disabilities looking for work opportunities. Jenny Miller, The Arc’s Community Employment Services Director came in to talk to all the employees at the plant about working alongside people with disabilities, building internal sensitivities, and mutually supportive work culture for all.

By partnering with The Arc of the Quad Cities Area, H.C. Duke and Son gave an opportunity that changed Alex’s working life, but the unforeseen benefits to the entire production team was a sweet surprise. Alex is quite an asset to the H.C. Duke and Son team, and the definition of a good co-worker.

You can post what inclusion means to you by tagging The Arc of the Quad Cities Area (@ARCQCA) and using hashtags #DDAware, #DDAwareness, and #InclusionMatters.


See Me as Your Neighbor

When Matt and Danielle first moved into their new home in Moline eight months ago, one of the first people who took notice of the new faces in the neighborhood was Joe who lives right next door. He asked, “Do they (previous owners) know you are here?” When Matt and Danielle explained why they were there, Joe relaxed and introductions were made. Says Danielle, “Joe was the first person we met when we moved to Moline.” “It was his way of looking out for his neighbors.”

Both Matt and Danielle are entrepreneurs and run several businesses. As they came to know their new neighborhood and a few of their neighbors, they recognized Joe out front of his house selling his handmade bracelets. They became frequent customers of Joe’s and when Matt wanted a customized bracelet for Danielle, Joe made sure he got upfront payment for his wares. “We appreciate his hustle,” said Matt and happily obliged recognizing one entrepreneur to another.

With a new house to work on, Matt and Danielle spent many hours working on their new house and yard which afforded them more opportunities to get to know their new neighbors. Joe made frequent appearances and kept them up to date on neighborhood happenings and his personal successes. “We are happy that Joe shares his successes with us.”

One day a bus pulled in front of their neighbor’s house with ‘The Arc’ on its display. “We didn’t know that our neighbors were being supported by The Arc until then and it all came into focus,”  said Danielle, “We’ve lived here for eight months but already have made great memories. We feel like part of the neighborhood, Joe and our neighbors made it that way.”

Throughout the month we will be sharing more stories on three themes; see me as your neighbor; see me as your co-worker; and see me as your friend. You can post what inclusion means to you by tagging The Arc of the Quad Cities Area (@ARCQCA) and using hashtags #DDAware, #DDAwareness, and #InclusionMatters.



Picture Caption: Joe (left) and Danielle (right) take a selfie on Halloween Night where Joe was handing out treats and selling his homemade bracelets to Trick or Treaters. Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month highlights how people with and without disabilities can come together to form strong communities.

2023 Charity Golf Outing

Mark your calendars for Monday, June 12th at Oakwood Country Club for the 2023 Charity Golf Outing benefiting The Arc of the Quad Cities Area.

Thank you for your interest! Click HERE for more information.