AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - In an effort to offer better job opportunities and real world experiences to people with special needs, ADVO Companies it’s preparing to launch a capital campaign.
The funds raised during the campaign will allow the nonprofit to create around 150 new jobs for people with intellectual disabilities.
“When you stop and think about that 58 percent of individuals with intellectual disabilities are unemployed that’s a huge number,” said Carla Hughes, president of ADVO Companies Inc.
The organization will be able to do this by building a gym, a warehouse, a playground and a strip mall.
“So, once they enter here, they get the job training then they go next door, to these businesses and get the actually introduction to community service,” said Hughes.
The nonprofit operates a vocational training center and residential homes for more than 100 clients.
Their waiting list currently has more than 300 individuals, and the expansion will allow them to help more people and promote more community placements.
“We will be much further ahead, when we can go to an employer and say ‘This individual has been working in the community,’” said Hughes. “In this job placement, they are a barista, they have these experiences.”
The project has been divided in four phases, the first one being the warehouse, which is 90 percent funded.
“The timeline for the whole project is hopefully within the next three years,” said Jeremy Bradford. “But it does depend on what funds are raised for the project. This first phase, we’re hoping that within a year that’ll be done.”
The entire project is estimated to cost $14 million.
Phase two of the project will be a shopping center, which will consist of a coffee and tea shop and catering business.
“They’re going to see our individuals as a normal person working right beside them.” said Bradford. “They’re going to see them as their equal.”
The capital campaign will officially launch this Summer.
If you would like to sign someone up for ADVO services it’s important to have them register through the Texas Panhandle Centers as soon as possible.
To donate just call (806) 342-0600.