When a student is offered practical vocational skills training, his or her probability of meaningful employment in adulthood is greatly improved. With a job in his or her adult years, an individual’s quality of life is greatly enhanced. To this end, Melmark has an active and growing vocational training program for our adolescent students. It takes sophisticated programming, patience, and determination on the part of our teachers for a student to progress from learning in a specialized classroom to working in the community. With current statistics showing that 70 percent of individuals with autism are unemployed or underemployed, Melmark’s goal is to help every student we serve to achieve their maximum potential.
New England Job Placements
MNE and the Melmark Café
On a daily basis, students prep and clean the kitchen and cafeteria, perform a variety of duties in the dish-washing area, and operate as cashier, manning the point of sale system for staff and visitors ordering lunch. Students also conduct recycling efforts throughout the school, including sorting, bagging, and returning cans and bottles for deposit refunds. At the student-run MelMart, students, staff, and visitors can purchase snacks and beverages that have been purchased, priced, stocked, and sold by vocational students.
First Baptist Church, Haverhill
Jackson Lumber & Millwork, Lawrence
Students work in the yard stacking lumber and assist in ensuring a clean, organized working environment.
Lawrence General Hospital
Romano’s Restaurant, Haverhill
Salvatore’s Restaurant, Lawrence
Students do dishwashing (lunch plates, pots, and pans), portioning food, mopping and creating silverware setups for catering events.
Stoneham Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
Ulicious Smoothie and Juice Bar, Lawrence
Cohen Closing and Title, LLC, Bedford, NH
Market Basket, North Andover
Pennsylvania Job Placements
Harvest apples from three orchards. The employee must be able to identify mature fruits, not squeeze or bruise them and then distribute the ripe apples to a canning cottage. The employee will participate in processing the apples to make apple butter, and then fill and label containers.
Lintons Food Service
Cafeteria support services. Employees provide lunch tickets to staff members at a ticket counter, clean tables, and serve lunches. Some students receive paid, part-time employment working inside the staff cafeteria in which they serve lunches at the hot lunch counter or pre-packaged lunch counter, prepare simple meals, and wash dishes.
Legion Transformation Center
Facility support services. Employees complete all custodial responsibilities at a fitness center including cleaning equipment benches, weights, bathrooms, floors, windows, and shelves.
Popcorn for the People
Grocery inventory and stocking. Employees count inventory and stock shelves of five flavors of popcorn at two different community grocery stores.
Brandywine Valley SPCA
Field maintenance services. Employees participate in paid, part-time, seasonal employment including maintenance of a polo field after polo matches. Fill divots on the field with sand.
On campus operations support. Classrooms of vocational students participate in weekly store operations, completing inventory, sorting, store set up and filling orders. Students prepare and clean the kitchen and/or school store space before and after use. Additionally, students deliver and retrieve student communication devices to and from classrooms every morning and afternoon.