By Patsy Webb, M.A.Ed.S., C.E.S.P., Program Director: Dream, Grow, Achieve

The Friends are extremely excited about their Treat Truck! Going into the community, bringing smiles to the faces of our neighbors, and serving people are some of their favorite activities at Friends Life Community (FLC). Many of the Friends (47%) are already employed in the local area in restaurants, universities, grocery stores, senior living facilities, and so much more. However, some Friends are in the process of practicing and developing their employment skills in order to find that perfect career.

Working at the Friends’ Treat Truck gives each individual an environment to practice customer service and behind-the-scenes skills. Developing the social skills needed to greet customers and take orders for treats is incredible practice for any person looking for a job in retail and in most employment settings. Working together as a team gives the Friends practice in several of the top soft skills needed by employers. Retaining a job includes many teamwork skills, and continuing to practice these valuable skills, even for Friends who are currently employed, leads to long-term success for Friends and employers alike.

“Adults with disabilities make up nearly 20% of the American workforce, but they often face greater challenges in finding and maintaining employment. This is because they’re not given the opportunity to develop soft and hard job skills that characterize appealing candidates. However, these social – and work-related attributes are essential to securing employment and maintaining a job in the long run.” (United Disabilities Services Foundation

 Behind the scenes, the Friends fill orders, set up and take down the truck supplies, and take inventory. These integral, work force training skills — which apply to many business settings — can be practiced by every Friend at FLC through the Treat Truck. Each time the Friends’ Treat Truck hits the road, it is going to impact the Nashville community and the Friends in multiple ways — community relationships, job skill development, and possible long-term financial stability for Friends and their families through gained employment.

Patsy Webb, M.A.Ed.S.

Patsy Webb, M.A.Ed.S.

Program Manager: Dream, Grow, Achieve

Patsy Webb joined FLC in 2017, and  holds a master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Iowa. As a Certified Employment Support Professional, she brings more than 25 years’ experience teaching students, from preschool to high school, with special needs.

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Phone: (615) 730-9370