Cumberland County center offers life and job skills for people with disabilities

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SILVER SPRING TOWNSHIP, CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. -- Most people enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done, as well as earning a paycheck.

People with disabilities are no different, and in Cumberland County, a few of those workers are getting on the job training.

The S. Wilson Pollock Center for Industrial Training (CIT) helps disabled workers help themselves to make a living.

The skills they learn there may not only help them on the job, but in life.

Several major national companies such as Apple and Amazon are counting on these Cumberland County workers to get the job done.

Worker Amy Berkich said "boxes, boxes."

Center for Industrial Training director John Heckman said "we do about 200,000 boxes a month."

Employee Joesph Carricato said "I work on it, then I put that thing in, and it's done, and its ready."

The CIT offers paid on the job training to people with disabilities.

"Our goal is to give individuals the opportunity to achieve their maximum vocational potential. Our ultimate goal is getting an individual a competitive job in the community at other businesses out there," Heckman said.

These employees are learning more than just job skills.

"An individual's job is as important as anything else in their life. Persons with intellectual disabilities have the same desires and wants," Heckman sais.

Heather McCormick said "I come here every day, and sometimes I come to work at 8 o'clock in the morning, and I leave at 2:30."

Making an honest living means these workers also enjoy the fruits of their labor.

"It means a lot of money," Carricato said.

"It's important to me to get paid, and stuff. It feels great," McCormick said.

For Heckman, having an employee quit is one measure of a job well done.

"We're a little different than many employers in that we try to get rid of our best employees. We try to assist them in any way we can, to move on to better themselves," Heckman said.

"I like working here, because I worked here for eight years and that's good," Carricato said.

"It's also rewarding for those individuals who have been here for a number of years, that they still have a purpose, and a reason to get up in the morning and go to work and earn a paycheck," Heckman said.

For some workers, there's a lot more to like than that.

"I like the job. I like working, and friends here, everybody here. I like it, i like it," Berkich said.

A CIT team of 6 staff members helps assist workers with making the transition to the outside workforce at both public and private area businesses.

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