Corvilla inaugurated their new Granger facility during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wed., May 25. Both clients and staff greeted individuals attending the open house.
The new Granger facility is an expansion of Corvilla’s Day Services, equipped to enhance their Careers program and other programs for young adults.
“Corvilla’s Granger location is all about partnerships,” said Steve Ganger, chief development director. “The job training we’re providing is preparing a deep pool of qualified, dedicated workers for our employee-starved market.”
The agency partners with Amish woodworkers to create quality heirloom furniture that employs some of Corvilla’s clients. This partnership began during COVID and was originally an eCommerce-only storefront. The new facility, however, features a showroom where people can visit, touch, and try out the furniture before they make a purchase.
“Clients are employed by finishing, selling, and delivering the furniture,” said CEO Don Wierenga. Aside from giving clients independence through employment, Wierenga notes that “the concept is to show that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can do quality work. That’s what we want to show the community. That our folks can do anything anybody else can do.”
The new building also contains a gallery where clients can showcase their work and Corvilla also partners with local artists to showcase their talent to a wider audience.
Lieutenant Governor of Indiana Suzanne Crouch attended the ribbon-cutting event, along with Mishawaka Mayor Dave Wood and President and Chief Executive Officer John Barth of the Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (INARF).
Lieutenant Governor Crouch, who serves on the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Task Force for the state, noted that Indiana’s unemployment rate is at 2.2 percent, yet there are 155,000 jobs available. “People with disabilities have a 70 percent unemployment rate. What better opportunity to fill those jobs than with individuals with disabilities? And Corvilla is dedicated to fulfilling that need.”
The community is invited to attend Corvilla’s Grand Opening on Saturday, June 4, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 135 University Drive, across from Target in the University Park Mall corridor.
“We want this to become a hub of activity where the community engages with us,” said Ganger. “And we engage with the community, to see that people with disabilities are capable of working, creating, and contributing with the same significance as anyone else.”
Corvilla also offers services in its Bremen and South Bend locations. For more information on Corvilla, their services, or to find out more on how you can make a difference, visit corvilla.org or call 574-289-9779.