Growing with ARCA: Once you start your career at ARCA, you will have many opportunities to advance your career. Below, you will find testimonials from several employees describing their ARCA journey.
Aaron came to ARCA in 1998 as a Direct Support Professional working weekend overnight shifts. He worked in several homes and eventually transitioned into a Job Developer role in ARCA’s Supported Employment Department. He served as a Human Resources assistant and then joined ARCA’s Literacy Project, which provided him the opportunity to focus on teaching students computer, reading and writing skills. In 2011, he joined ARCA’s IT Department where he currently manages ARCA’s SharePoint system and works with staff to develop programs to increase workplace efficiency.
What do you need to succeed at ARCA? Aaron says “patience, an open mind, the ability to focus on possibilities vs. limitations, a desire to learn and change and, most importantly, an inherent respect for all people and belief systems. We are here to enhance potential.”
Eligio joined ARCA in 1994 when he was looking for a part-time job to supplement his income. At that time, he had just finished culinary school and was pursuing a career in the restaurant business. Eligio found the work gratifying and felt immense job satisfaction. “I really made a difference in the lives of others. I found unconditional love. I quickly learned to accept differences and to be thankful for the everyday things I took for granted”.
Eligio enjoys taking individuals he serves into the community and getting paid to have fun! He is proud of the awards and certificates he has received over the years and appreciates the fact how top level management is willing to do anything that is asked of direct care staff.
One of Eligio’s earliest memories is working with a substitute staff who was filling in for a regular staff who won a day off in a raffle. The next day he learned Elaine Solimon, ARCA’s Executive Director at the time, was the “substitute staff” he worked with the night before doing laundry, personal care and cooking! He was astonished ARCA’s top leadership was so willing to jump in and do whatever was needed to serve the needs of the individuals in his home. That made a very lasting impression!
Melissa Wright has been with ARCA since 2002. This was only her 2nd job! Prior to ARCA, she worked in daycare for a year. Her interest in working with people with developmental disabilities was sparked at a young age when she helped out a special needs student during high school. Melissa described this experience as “giving her great joy…just seeing her made me feel happy. It just felt like it was me”.
Melissa knew she had a natural desire to help others and ARCA seemed like a perfect place to work. When she completed her degree in Criminal Justice, she left ARCA for a year to pursue a job in her field of study, but then discovered it just wasn’t the right fit for her. She returned to ARCA and was quickly promoted to the Training Coordinator within the Training Department.
What makes this job right for Melissa? Melissa describes the great sense of satisfaction she receives from giving the individuals in her care another dimension to their life by providing new experiences and opportunities for growth. “I know I am making a difference. I feel appreciated and I know mean a lot to them. It’s special, like a family.” Melissa says her job at ARCA really gives her a sense of purpose and she feels like she has been able to put her skills to work in a variety of positions.
Melissa says, “I never imagined I would be where I am. I truly appreciate people noticing and nurturing my potential.” What are the key components to being successful at ARCA? Melissa says “Patience, compassion, and great communication skills! You must be willing to care enough to notice the small things that bring others happiness and be open minded to different experiences. Think outside the box!”