Frequently Asked Questions
Coffee for Good operates a coffee shop, open to the public, as a training platform for people with disabilities. Over the past 5 years, over 30 independent coffee shops, in 22 states, have opened to employ people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This trend is due to advances in technology and automated equipment.
The Coffee for Good training platform is designed to equip our trainees with marketable work skills. Graduates will be able to be employed in a variety of industries allowing them to participate fully in the community and reducing the high unemployment rate of over 80%. Coffee for Good will tailor training to each individual who will be paid an hourly wage. Training is expected to last between 6 to 12 months so our employees can learn the technical and professional skills needed for competitive employment. Training will include learning all aspects of working in a hospitality and retail business. Employers can come to the coffee shop and see our trainees in action.
Helen Lobrano and Alan Gunzberg head up this team of advisors and local business people who are current employers. This team of people will facilitate the hiring process focusing in particular on issues or concerns that you may have as a first time employer of people with disabilities. In addition, if you need a certain set of skills, the Employer Advisory Team can work with the management of Coffee for Good to train to those specific skills.
Many businesses experience the problem of high staff turnover. Employees with disabilities have a higher retention rate which reduces the need to train new hires. Our trained graduates are eager to work and are dedicated and loyal. Hiring people with disabilities allows you to engage key talent and nurture their abilities. Greenwich Library recently celebrated a disabled employee on his 30th year of employment.
There is widespread experience that employment of a diverse workforce can improve customer loyalty. One of our advisors is a large company with over 900 convenience stores. This company has had a Supported Employment Program for over 30 years which currently employs 550 people with disabilities. The manager of the Supported Employment Program outlined the benefits to his company by employing people with disabilities. One benefit is the numerous positive comments from customers who chose his store over competitors because of the diverse workforce. In addition, family and friends of people with disabilities will be more likely to engage with your business. Many consumers want to see an increase in diversity in the workplace.
The transition of our graduates to your business will be facilitated by our Employer Advisory Team who will monitor all aspects of on boarding to the new position. What’s more, a fully trained Abilis job coach will be on site - ensuring a seamless transition to your business.
Fully trained Abilis’ Job Coaches will be available on-site to assist in the transition to work with management to develop check lists of responsiblities. The Job Coach is paid by Abilis. Job Coaches work on a flexible schedule and can be arranged to be on-site at your business for as short or as long a period as desired. Job Coaches are also monitor our graduates check in weekly either via email or in person if needed to ensure that goals and targets are met. If new equipment or software is installed at your business Job Coaches can be enlisted to assist with any necessary retraining. We maintain contact with Job Coaches to ensure a successful transition. Job Coaches monitor our graduates to allow you the time to focus on your business.
Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit program. Employers can receive tax credits of 25% of the salary, up to $6,000, for each hired worker per year. We can provide assistance with the completion of the few required forms; in addition, many book keepers/accountants are familiar with these forms. For more information please visit https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/work-opportunity-tax-credit
A member of the Coffee for Good Employer Advisory Team is available to meet with you to discuss the specific skills needed to operate your business. We can tailor our training platform to meet those skills. In addition, our Employer Advisory Team offers ongoing support to ensure the success of your business.
While in the Coffee for Good training program, our trainees will learn all the skills necessary to work in a hospitality or retail business. Among the hospitality and retail skills taught are: POS operations, drink preparation including barista drinks, merchandising, inventory, restocking, shipping online sales, dishwashing, bussing, triple sanitation method, and general cleaning. Our trainees will also learn the professional skills necessary to deliver a positive customer experience.
A study by Deloitte found that diversity and inclusion practices made teams more effective, as inclusive teams outperform their peers by 80% in team-based assessments.
Coffee for Good graduates will increase the diversity of your work force. According to a survey by The Institute for Corporate Productivity, more than 75% of employers surveyed ranked their employees with disabilities as “good” or “very good” on work quality, motivation, engagement, integration with coworkers, dependability, and attendance. Our advisor who has the large “supported employment” workforce of 550 employees has told us that they have experienced an increase in other employee loyalty. Other employees like that they are making a difference in people’s lives.
According to Shawna Berger, Director of Communications at the US Business Leadership Network: “Businesses that embrace disability inclusion have found there is a positive correlation between their profitability, employee morale and engagement.” There are several documented benefits to an organization as a whole when disabled individuals become part of the team. These include higher retention of existing employees, enhance staff morale, boost in creativity and problem-solving skills and increased work ethic.