Baker Industries is not just a great nonprofit. They are a nonprofit with a heart of gold. At a time in our daughter's life when the "professionals" were telling us that she didn't have the ability to sustain competitive employment and we should seek out a quality day program, Baker Industries was willing to give her a chance. They have honored that commitment for 4 1/2 years. They brought her from only being able to attend to a task for a couple of hours a day to being productive member of the Baker team for a full shift. This did not happen by accident but rather by design. When you put the focus on someone's abilities, they far out shine their disability. Baker Industries has not just given her a job. They have nurtured a sense of self worth, pride in herself and sense of community. Many of Maria's successes in her personal life are directly tied to the efforts of Baker Industries. They are life changers!!
I got involved with Baker Industries a couple of years ago, when I joined the Board. Having spent many years in human resources and general management roles, I recognize the challenge of creating a safe, caring workplace and the value of a job to a person's self worth and well-being. Enter a Baker location and you immediately sense the caring and dedication of program participants and staff for their job and for each other. Baker Industries is a special enterprise!
My aunt has been a Baker industries employee for over a decade now, and I was fortunate enough to share a home with her for the first 18 years of my life. She was a constant, glowing presence, always offering encouragement and a listening ear. But my aunt's path in this life has not been easy. She struggled for almost 50 years with a disability before finding Baker industries. But Baker Industries, and especially the Baker community of workers, volunteers, and staff, truly changed her life. The people are what set this organization apart, and they have helped my aunt find passion and purpose. The counseling, training, and social events, from Phillies games to improv sketches, are invaluable components of the program as well, giving our Bakerites a support system that is hard to come by these days.
Baker industries is a gem! They provide a means for those that are "hard to employ" to gain a foothold in the workplace, regain their self esteem and get their lives back on track. Self funded with no government subsidies, Baker operates like a buisness but does the work of a social non profit, improving the lives of their workers while delivering quality products to their customers.
I volunteer helping Baker employees move on to new jobs. These individuals are some of the most earnest, industrious, and compassionate people I have ever met. Would that our "real world" workplaces had more employees like these, not only as workers but as those running the company!
My son got a job at Baker Industries and the change in him has been remarkable. This is his first official job, and his attitude has done a complete 180 degree turnaround. He now feels as if he has a sense of purpose and understands the importance of responsibility. The staff at Baker has been there to guide him along the way, either by allowing him to learn new skills or to just make sure he stays focused on doing his job. I cannot say enough good things about Baker Industries
I had the pleasure of working with Baker Industries when a group from my company spent a Community Partnership Day at the Malvern location. The staff explained the mission their mission, the approach to helping others build skills and self-esteem thru employment, and work with people to move them forward for future opportunities.The staff has a strong passion for their vision. We spent the day working with employees on an assembly line and had the pleasure of getting to know some of them. It was wonderful to hear them discuss their future goals. More programs such as those offered by Baker Industries are needed. This should be seen as a model for other locations throughout the country.
Baker Industries is a well run business that provides real work for persons with disabilities and for people recently released from incarceration. They enable people to learn merketable job skills which they can continue to use at Baker or take with them to new opportunities. They are very accomodating of idiosyncrasies that other employers might not tolerate. I highly recommend them as an employer and only wish more businesses would adopt their willing attitude to improve the lives of the vulnerable and marginalized.
Every time I talk to my mentally disabled, older brother (now 50 years old), he excitedly tells me that he's going to get a job! But he never gets a position. The years he was a grocery bagger/car-loader at Safeway were some of his happiest as he really likes helping people, but it began to hurt his back. He hasn't been able to find a new job yet. Although, he has enjoyed being a Salvation Army bellringer, it is really hard on his self-esteem and quality of life to not have regular employment A place like Baker Industries would be amazing for him but there is nothing like it where he lives in Virginia.
This is an amazing non profit. All funding comes from private sources which is VERY rare. The benefits received by participants at Baker Industries are unlike any these populations are able to receive elsewhere. The self esteem, independence and hope for the future made accessible are life changing. It is an honor to be affiliated with such a unique and successful organization.