Back in September, Pride Paws opened its doors at 26 Main Street in Medford. Operated by a nonprofit corporation, the new store offers customers a wide range of supplies for dogs and cats, such as food, chew toys, and grooming supplies. It also provides job training for young adults with developmental disabilities.
The store is the work of Pride Ventures Inc., a non-profit organization started by area teachers who wanted to provide on-site job training for individuals between 18 and 21 with developmental disabilities. Currently, Pride Paws employs 20 part-time workers and relies heavily on volunteers to manage the staff.
Employees at Pride Paws adhere to a training manual written by special education teachers from the Lenape Regional High School District, allowing workers to practice essential job skills at a reasonable pace. The skills include stocking shelves, operating the cash register, taking inventory, and greeting customers. All staff members are required to log 200 unpaid hours before they become eligible for an hourly wage.
It’s a fantastic initiative. Not only is it wonderful to see a new storefront open in my hometown, but it’s equally encouraging to know that Pride Paws is supporting such an important initiative. Next time I find myself dog-sitting my sister’s new puppy, you can bet I’m taking a walk to Main Street for treats.
The store is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. They are continuing to accept volunteers, donations, and job-training applicants. For more information visit www.prideventuresinc.org.Click here to leave a comment