Meet JRI's Service Navigator

Our Navigator personally answers questions and talks with you about resources that may be available in the community to meet your individualized needs. If you have any questions about our programs or services, or aren't sure what you need, contact our Service Navigator, Rachel Arruda, and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Rachel has been a part of the JRI team since January, 2000. For over 20 years, Rachel has been working in the field of human services assisting families with accessing and navigating services. Rachel received her Bachelors degree in psychology and Masters Degree in Public Administration from Bridgewater State University. She was promoted in July 2005 to Family Networks Program Director where she closely worked with the Department of Children Families for 10 years ensuring that children and families received the highest quality of individualized services ranging from community based through residential care. Rachel is very dedicated to helping the individuals she works with and is committed to improving the lives of children and families. Rachel’s passion for creative service programming inspires her in her role as JRI Service Navigator.

Services

Employment Supports

Employment First in Natick and MetroWest Works in Westboro and Northboro prepare you to find meaningful paid work. Our training helps you develop marketable skills, and provides practice in positive work attitudes and jobs in a variety of community tasks and settings. Our centers are small and community-oriented, with multiple daily opportunities to practice work skills in real settings.

Man with tray of cookies
At a Glance
This service is for
Focus: Our goal is to help you to develop employment-related skills, to master working in a varity of real-world work environments, and to help you get and keep a competitive job.
Age: 22+
Gender: male, female, transgender, non-conforming
Capacity:125 across 4 sites
Let's Connect
Lisa Richmond
Director of Employment Services
1671 Worcester Road, Suite 100
Framingham, MA 01701
(508) 872-0669
Employment Supports

We have employment options for people with significant learning needs who want to develop marketable job-related skills, and find and maintain meaningful employment. We rely on local community businesses and resources to support people enrolled in one or more DDS-funded services, such as Competitive Employment, Group-Employment and Community-based Day Services. We enable people traditionally locked out of the competitive job market to discover their strengths, refine their skills, and keep the job they love. We provide transportation to our four locations in Natick, Westboro, and Northboro, as well individual travel-training and transportation to competitive jobs as needed.

In twenty-five years, our Employment Supports have grown from a small summer jobs program to four centers of diverse employment services. We've operated a number of social enterprises as well: the Hot Diggity Dog food truck, a gift basket business, The Lunch Express cafe and catering business, and presently Full Circle ARTS.

Female doing arts and crafts

 

Competitive Employment

Competitive Employment helps you identify marketable job skills, secure a competitive job, transition to work, and manage your work schedule, transportation. and job responsibilities. We support people in a variety of fields, including one individual who was named "Employee of the Year" at the large national corporation where he has worked for over 10 years.

Group Employment

Our group-employment program enables you to practice teamwork, an essential job skill in today's economy. Work at local businesses provides an opportunity to meet job expectations, interact with co-workers and supervisors, and perform essential job functions with the support of a job coach.

Community-based Day Services

Community-based Day Services engages you in activities that support work-related skills, including communication, social and interpersonal skills, and self-advocacy. Small groups staffed by Employment Specialists plan and participate in meaningful volunteer work, functional skill-building activities, and a variety of interest-driven recreational, fitness and social-skill-building activities.

Employee of the Year
One of the many people we support was chosen "Employee of the Year" at the large national corporation where he has worked for over 10 years. He was not singled out for having a disability; he was recognized as superior among all employees.
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