Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation has awarded a $30,000 grant to Cardinal Cushing Centers of Hanover. This grant will assist Cardinal Cushing in the transition of the MarketPlace into a self-sustaining business and training site for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
The MarketPlace is home to Cardinal Cushing’s community-facing businesses where 300 student and adult participants engage in vocational training as well as paid employment opportunities. The Cushing Café, Unique Boutique and Take 2 Thrift Shop have become a destination shopping experience for the greater South Shore community and are a model of true integration. The space also offers six new state-of-the-art classrooms for their transition-aged students. The MarketPlace plays an integral role in Cardinal Cushing’s employment training program by working to deepen the programmatic excellence and reach of vocational programs for all participants.
“We are honored to be the recipient of such a generous grant,” said Michelle Markowitz, President & CEO at Cardinal Cushing Centers. “We are so appreciative of the ongoing support we receive from Rockland Trust, which helps us as we continue to expand our programs to better meet the needs of our special population.”
“The Foundation is honored to support the Cardinal Cushing Center’s mission in creating meaningful employment opportunities at their MarketPlace,” said Andrea Borowiecki, Vice President of Charitable Giving & Community Engagement at Rockland Trust. “The organization is doing incredible work to help us build a more inclusive community which in tandem is improving the quality of life of the individuals and families they serve.”
As the MarketPlace grows out of its start-up phase, Cardinal Cushing seeks to ensure that its participants are maintaining competitive, paid employment outside of Cushing after having trained in the MarketPlace. Employment specialists and job coaches work directly with the individuals they support to identify interests and strengths, and then assist each person with their job search, interview process, and provide support to ensure the individual is successful in retaining the job. The goal is always to match the level of support to the individual’s ability level.
Cardinal Cushing Centers is a nonprofit organization founded in Hanover in 1947, Cushing Centers began as a day and residential school for students with intellectual disabilities. With additional locations in Braintree, Cushing now supports more than 600 individuals of all ages, with the goal of helping each student and adult to become included and independent members of society. Programs include, among others, affordable housing, community programs, education, employment training, recreational, therapeutic and residential services.