Cantalician Center Celebrates the Opening of Diversified Labor Solutions
Cantalician Center for Learning celebrated the grand opening of Diversified Labor Solutions (DLS), a newly established division of its employment services that provides career opportunities to individuals with disabilities in Western New York.
Cantalician Center is one of the first agencies in New York State to implement community-based long- term supports by creating DLS to offer employment solutions to local manufacturers and distribution centers. The creation of the division was in response to the implementation of the New York State Office of People With Developmental Disabilities' (OPWDD) Transformational Plan to shift individuals with disabilities out of sheltered workshops and into their communities. Cantalician, a nonprofit serving adults and children with disabilities, received a Balancing Incentives Program (BIP) grant in February 2015 from OPWDD to transform its employment services department into Diversified Labor Solutions.
"Recognizing a need in both the disability and business communities and in response to the Office of People With Developmental Disabilities' plan to provide employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, we wanted to set a positive example early by moving our employment services into integrated manufacturing environments," said Darren Lisicki, Director of Employment Services, Diversified Labor Solutions. "It's a win-win situation, through the creation of Diversified Labor Solutions we are expanding the career opportunities for the individuals we serve and providing a much-needed labor source for local manufacturers."
Employing more than 200 individuals, DLS is located in a 14,000 square-foot office at the Tri-Main Center. It also operates on-site at various local manufacturing warehouses. DLS is not only utilizing the career expertise of individuals with disabilities, but it is creating opportunities for our region's growing refugee population. Refugees account for more than half of the divisions' staff. Collectively, DLS employees are filling the crucial need for a dependable, adaptable, and experienced workforce in the local business and manufacturing community. Diversified Labor Solutions works with a list of manufacturing and distribution firms, including The Mentholatum Company, Partners Packaging, 3M OCelo, Sonwil Industries, Chef's Restaurant and Norampac.
"The Diversified Labor Solutions crew has done a great job helping us meet our busy production schedule, especially this fall. Many of the DLS employees have volunteered to work extra hours when needed and have proven to be very hard working," said William Guilmain, Production Supervisor, The Mentholatum Company. "We have tripled our staffing since we first contacted DLS in August, 2015 and all our needs were met with great care."
Diversified Labor Solutions provides the necessary labor for a multitude of tasks, including packaging, kit assembly, shipping and handling, collating, FDA approved repacking and hot melt gluing.