Local special needs adults find their niche in job market
CHICKAMAUGA, GA (WRCB) -
Finding a job in this struggling economy can be difficult, especially for those with developmental disabilities. But, a group of special needs adults in Northwest Georgia has found a niche and is getting down to business.
The Squeegee Squad is advancing their opportunities, one window at a time. The Chickamauga Squeegee Squad formed about a month ago. It's comprised of around a dozen developmentally disabled adults. They're offering their services all around Northwest Georgia to local businesses.
The newly formed Squeegee Squad is mastering their window washing techniques.
"Wipe it off and wipe it side to side," squad member Chris Williams said.
Squad member Sharon Adams is making sure they don't leave behind any unsightly streaks.
"You don't smudge the window," squad member Sharon Adams said.
The Lookout Mountain Community Services program called Kaleidoscope, helps local adults with developmental disabilities. One way they help, is by finding them jobs.
"Get a job and get money," squad member John Paul Williams.
"Many of our adults, just like all of us, would like to have a job that's satisfying and rewarding and where we feel like we can contribute to the world around us," Kaleidoscope's Rebecca Clark said.
They got the idea and training for the Squeegee Squad from a similar program in Cedartown, Georgia and it has taken off. In their first month, they've recruited 15 businesses from Ringgold to Lafayette and in between, to pay for their window washing. They make minimum wage.
"Making good money," squad member Mike Stone said.
"Makes you feel good that you're doing something right in the community and supporting them," IPG Owner Gary Bean said.
The workers say they're proud to help their community, too, and feel more a part of it now.
"In a lot of ways I can just help them, and be a part of them," squad member Chris Williams said.
"Meet different people all the time," Stone said.
They hope their new business venture continues to grow, with a goal of getting at least 20 more businesses to hire them.
"It's really heart-touching to me to see this and so I would say to any business if you're not doing it, do it," Bean said.
The Squeegee Squad's rates vary depending on the size of the business and how many windows. For additional information, call Rebecca Clark at (706)375-2142 ext. 11