Arc of Wayne in Newark commercial laundromat recognized for employing people with disabilities |

Arc of Wayne in Newark commercial laundromat recognized for employing people with disabilities

Jennifer Ly
Created: May 06, 2021 06:13 PM

NEWARK, N.Y. (WHEC) — A new commercial laundromat has officially opened its doors in Wayne County, and it is one that serves a greater purpose.

Last month, the Arc of Wayne in Newark established a commercial laundry business that now employs individuals with and without disabilities.

After staff members from the Wayne County nursing home approached the Arc Wayne about finding a new laundry provider, the organization quickly jumped on the opportunity and worked to find a solution. Renovations began at the Harrison Street facility late last year. Now, the facility is fully equipped with new commercial-grade washers and dryers, folding stations, and delivery trucks were purchased. The sole client of the commercial laundromat is the nursing home.

“We're helping serve the county. I’m glad they let us do the laundry and I’m glad I learned something new,” said Matt Addona, one of the employees at the facility. 

Wearing sports paraphernalia every day, Addona enjoys the job.

“My favorite part is working with my friends like Francis, Bob and T.J. They're nice people. I love working here,” Addona said. 

According to the New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. (NYSID), the unemployment rate of individuals with disabilities is 67%. The Arc Wayne hopes it can start to bring that number down, starting here in Wayne County.

In an effort to place importance on diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace, NYSID provided a $25,000 matching grant to get this new business off the ground. Among other generous grantors were The Golisano Foundation and the Davenport Hatch Foundation. 

“These are folks that can contribute, are good at the jobs they do and should be eligible for employment,” said Maureen O’Brien, President & CEO of NYSID. 

“I love it. It gives me something to do instead of sitting home being bored,” said Francis Fitzpatrick, another employee at the facility.

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