RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — “Everybody has something to give: People don’t have disabilities, they have different abilities,” says Wake Enterprises Executive Director Walter Weeks.
He oversees the organization that provides vocational and social opportunities for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Wake Enterprises has been helping adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1979 and is the CBS North Carolina 3-Degree Guarantee charity for the month of November.
Their two Triangle locations don’t look like places of work — there’s lots of socializing and even dancing — but they are. In addition to being a facility where adults can be cared for all day long, they also have opportunities to work.
Wake Enterprises serves people with multiple disabilities, which means that a person might have a cognitive disability and also have a physical disability.
Despite those disabilities, many of the adults coming to Wake Enterprises are there to work.
Sylvester Kitchen is assistant director of production and seeks out jobs from businesses around town for the adults to perform.
“The main thing is to get them involved in a lot of different things, motor skills, using their hands, learning to use their mind. Our overall objective is to get them out if they are able into the working field,” Kitchen says.
Many of the jobs performed in the warehouse are simple assembly line-type work. There are more than two hundred men and women at the two locations. They are anywhere from 18 to over 65 years old.
Many of these disabled adults would have very few options in life. While the work they do is simple at times, it is very fulfilling, and they actually earn a small paycheck for the work they do for other companies.
Some of the adults do eventually move out of the facility and find jobs in the community, something that wouldn’t be possible without Wake Enterprises.
To learn more about Wake Enterprises, visit their website.