Modoc’s Market models inclusion
Ask Angie Beauchamp about helping people find a place in the workforce, and she’ll tell you it’s the right thing to do. A respected community leader and 12-year owner of Modoc’s Market, a coffee shop in Wabash, Angie is also a valuable partner to Pathfinder Resource Connection, the employment division of Pathfinder Services.
Ten years ago, Angie hired her first Pathfinder client to work at the coffee shop. Since then, she has hired a total of four. Though one individual moved out of state, the other three still work at Modoc’s.
Good for business
Angie points out that employing disabled individuals enhances her business. “One of the best things is that it’s a good example to the community,” she says. “It brings similarities out in the open more than differences.”
Modoc’s Market, for example, employs a total of 20 people. Of the three employees who are Pathfinder clients, Angie says, “It’s interesting to see how they affect the others who work there. It builds tolerance. It helps the other team members grow in their understanding of others’ gifts and challenges. It also becomes a nice circle of support for Pathfinder clients, even from the customers. It’s a whole ripple effect of being blessed from these relationships.”
Angie’s involvement with Pathfinder Services began after she and her husband became acquainted with a local gentleman with a developmental disability. He regularly visited their church and the coffee shop. Today, Angie and her husband serve as his guardian and advocate.
Through this gentleman, Angie discovered the many opportunities available through Pathfinder Services. She has become a committed partner.
In addition to hiring work-ready employees, Angie works with Pathfinder Resource Connection on an ongoing basis. Modoc’s Market is a place where Pathfinder clients can test their skill sets and discover if they are ready to hold a community job.
A blessing for the community
Hiring people with disabilities is something Angie would encourage other business owners to do. “The value to the community is the awareness it builds that there are lots of different people that can be part of a team, and lots of ways people can contribute,” she says. “It’s not so much that we’re giving them a place as that our environment becomes enriched by their being with us.”
The benefit to Pathfinder clients cannot be understated, either. “You become part of their lives, too,” Angie explains. “One of my disabled employees has had issues where she’s not been able to work at times. Her job is only one day a week for a few hours, but it means so much to her. I think knowing that she had a job to come back to helped her recovery and overall wellness.”
Angie adds, “I think it speaks to the character of a community, how they take care of, embrace or encourage people with disabilities or any other part of the community that’s underserved. It makes us better.”
If you have a friend or family member struggling to overcome barriers to employment, help them connect with Pathfinder Resource Connection. We’d also like to talk with you about hiring our clients in your business. Contact us today.