On March 12, Department of Community and Human Services staff celebrated Development Disabilities Awareness Month by participating in the dedication of a headquarters for Building Employment Solutions Together (BEST), a City partner and community employment program for adults with disabilities.
BEST purchased the building at 919 Prince Street, one block up from King Street, and is remodeling the facility to include an office environment with meeting rooms and a storefront, which will sell items made by different organizations who employ individuals who have a disability. Employment and training components will help people with developmental disabilities--including participants in the DCHS Developmental Disabilities Program--learn job skills. It will also include a lounge area for program participants.
The storefront is expected to open this summer.
Mayor Justin Wilson issued a proclamation for the event, acknowledging the City’s leadership in advocating for its residents with disabilities and BEST’s efforts to employ more Alexandrians who have developmental disabilities.
BEST is a partnership between Service Source, a nonprofit that provides employment programs for people with disabilities, and Paola and Robert Pizano, Alexandria residents who established the Joey Pizzano Memorial Fund in 1998.
“The BEST program is the prototype as it relates to successful private-public partnerships,” says Community Services Board Administrative Operations Officer Phil Caldwell. “The JPMF group and Service Source are truly invested in giving Alexandrians with a disability the opportunity to work.”
Learn more about BEST and the Memorial Fund at jpmf.org/programs/the-best.