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Life’sWork 3rd Annual Spring Gala


It was a full house on Thursday, March 14 when Life’sWork held its 3rd Annual Spring Gala in the Rivers Casino Ballroom. Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and live music all while supporting and learning about the important mission of Life’sWork of Western PA.

While their words were meaningful, no one tells our story better than our clients and the business partners who provide them with valuable employment opportunities. Mason is one such client, employed at the Allegheny Fire Academy. The evening officially kicked off with a video sharing Mason’s story, which you can view below.

With that, food and drinks were served and the Bachelor Boy’s Band took the stage for a night of fun and networking with other guests, including over twenty members of the Life’sWork staff and Board of Directors.

As the night continued, we also honored our Business Partner of the Year for 2018: Adams Manufacturing. Adams is one of our newest business partners, having established a robust working relationship with them last spring. Through the partnership, Life’sWork and Adams Manufacturing were able to provide meaningful employment for over 50 individuals with disabilities, giving these individuals heavy doses of self-esteem, engaging work, and a paycheck for many of the weeks during the spring and summer of 2018.

The previous recipient of our Business Partner of the Year award, DreBo, America Inc., were highlighted once again in another video presentation. In addition to providing work for the clients in our Mon Valley office, DreBo also employs our client Jeremy, whose story was told in the second video of the night. Jeremy himself was also present at the event, ready to talk about his work with anyone who asked.

The evening came to a close with the drawing of the winners of our many raffle baskets, provided by many community partners including the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, the Mario Lemieux Foundation, and more.

To conclude the evening, we presented one final video spotlighting another client from our Mon Valley office, Brittany, who is employed by Diann Donaldson at the Jazzy Boutique. We were lucky enough to have Diann present with us to share Brittany’s story.

The evening would not have been possible without our sponsors: Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc, S&T Bank, Rivers Casino, Staley Capital, and University of Pittsburgh. Whether they are connected to Life’sWork through our business services or a personal connection to our mission, our sponsors provide the support necessary to allow us to continue serving our clients each year.

The Spring Gala is not just a night of food, drinks, and fun. It is a way for members of the community to learn about the mission of Life’sWork and the important service we and our business partners provide to our many clients.

If you are interested in learning more about the programs and services at Life’sWork, click here. To make a donation, click here.

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Al Philips Retires After 28 Years

Category:What's New

It is with mixed emotions that we announce that one of Life’sWork’s longest serving and most dedicated professionals – Al Phillips – has decided to retire. We are happy for Al – for he has earned a richly deserved retirement; but are saddened because we will miss Al, very much.

Al joined what was then known as the Vocational Rehabilitation Center (VRC) in October of 1991 – and over the past 28 years Al, in his role as a workforce development specialist and instructor of the Commercial Cleaning and Custodial Services Training Course, has served this organization and most importantly literally thousands of clients with care and distinction.

Life’sWork held a luncheon on Thursday to toast Al for these years of service. Fellow staff members said goodbye to Al and shared memories of their time working together over these past three decades.

Al’s impact at Life’sWork is immeasurable and his presence here will be greatly missed.

From all of us at Life’sWork and everyone he served through the years, we would like to thank Al for his dedication to our mission and to wish him well in his next chapter in life.

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Life’sWork Clients Invited to Duquesne Basketball Game

Category:What's New

Love, Scherle & Bauer, P.C. was kind enough to provide Life’sWork with free tickets to today’s women’s basketball game at Duquesne University against the Saint Louis Billikens. A group of clients and a few staff bundled up and braved the cold to watch the Atlantic 10 match up at the A.J. Palumbo Center.

Everyone enjoyed the exciting game that came down to the wire. Elisha, from Life’sWork, even made an appearance on the Jumbotron with her dance moves!

We would like to thank Duquesne University for the donated tickets. Community events like this provide an excellent experience for our clients to explore the world beyond their job sites and engage with our community.

If you are interested in providing a community engagement opportunity for our clients, feel free to contact Chris Phelps at cphelps@lifesworkwpa.org or at 412.-471-2600 ext. 330           

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First Customer Service Training Course of the Year Commences

Category:What's New

Today marks the commencement of another Customer Service and Technical Skills Training Course here at Life’sWork. This 8-week program prepares students for the working world with computer and customer service skills necessary to find a job as a customer service representative.

As always, we had a truly inspiring group of students this time around. Each student has worked hard to get this far and their dedication has finally paid off. We wish them all great success in their futures.

Are you or anyone you know interested in learning the important skills necessary to land a job in today’s working world? Life’sWork offers a Tuition Free training program that may be right for you!

For more information, contact Ed O’Rourke at 412-471-2600 x218 or at eorourke@lifesworkwpa.org

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Life’sWork Program Graduate Accepts Job at Veterans Place

Category:Client Spotlight

Belva Martin came to Life’sWork last fall, seeking the skills needed to find a job after being out of the workforce for some time. After discussing her options with staff here, she discovered that the Customer Service and Technical Skills Course seemed like a good fit, a program designed to train participants to work on the frontlines of service. The 8-week training course provides a comprehensive approach to customer service and technical skills, helping trainees jump start a career. Belva graduated from the course on November 30th with confidence for the next step in her career.

In less than six weeks, Belva has already been offered a great opportunity. She was hired as an administrative assistant at the Veterans Place of Washington Boulevard, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending Veteran homelessness in the Pittsburgh region.

Belva’s story is living proof that dedication and hard work with the right support can help you accomplish your goals. The Life’sWork staff is very proud of her and excited for her new endeavor.

If you or anyone you may know is interested in the Customer Service and Technical Skills Training Course, contact Ed O’Rourke at (412) 471-2600 ext. 218 or eorourke@lifesworkwpa.org

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MEET: Brittany

Category:Client Spotlight

Brittany Baron is one of our clients at Life’sWork Mon Valley Division. Happy and energetic, she is always willing to take on new challenges. For over a year now, Brittany has been employed at Jazzy Boutique located just down the street from the Life’sWork facility in Belle Vernon.

Jazzy Boutique is a unique place to shop, carrying quality consignment clothing and jewelry. In addition to hiring Brittany, Jazzy Boutique works with other non-profit organizations and homeless shelters throughout the region.

Diann Donaldson is the owner of Jazzy. She formerly worked as a Workforce Development Specialist at Life’sWork in Belle Vernon. Her previous work experience with our organization inspired her to become an entrepreneur and to continue working with Life’sWork to provide employment opportunities to individuals with disabilities at Jazzy Boutique.

Diann is very thankful to be able to work with Brittany and believes that she is “truly an inspiration to us all.” Brittany spends her shifts organizing and sorting the clothing for Diann and greets customers with a smile. “She is excited about work every day she comes in. It’s contagious,” Diann said.

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Life’sWork 2018 Client Holiday Party


Happy Holidays from Life’sWork of Western PA! Last week, we held our annual holiday party featuring music, drinks, dessert, and a homemade holiday dinner.

And as always, our clients were treated to an appearance by the one and only Santa Claus himself!

From all of us at Life’sWork of Western PA, we wish you a happy holidays!

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Life’sWork 2018 Client Halloween Party

Category:What's New

Today may be Halloween but things started getting spooky around here last week when Life’sWork held it’s annual Halloween Party on Friday.

Parties and dances have been a staple at Life’sWork for quite some time, but in 2018 we decided to kick things up a notch with a more diverse line-up of client events that went above and beyond the typical parties we’ve been having.

Thanks to the  Autism Caring Center, we were able to provide our clients with food, drinks, and dessert for this year’s Halloween Party. Our clients were also able to enjoy some unique entertainment with the addition of cornhole, a photo booth, and the most exciting game of Bingo you’ve ever seen!

We would like to once again thank the Autism Caring Center and wish everyone in the Life’sWork community a Happy Halloween!


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Life’sWork Business Service Division Gears Up for Holidays

Category:What's New

The holiday season is a busy time at Life’sWork. Our business services division takes on seasonal jobs to help local businesses with the extra workload during this part of the year. Whether it’s greeting card mailing or calendar assembly, our clients are always ready for the new challenge.

This year, we are fulfilling a job for Macy’s, one of the biggest department stores in the area. Our third-floor production workshop is packaging the gift boxes that will be given out to Macy’s customers with their holiday purchases. Macy’s is a festive place this time of the year, with thousands doing their shopping there daily. The colorful gift boxes are a holiday staple for a Macy’s patron.

If your business or organization has an extra holiday project, Life’sWork is here to help.

Our clients can assist with assembly and packaging, and our mailing department is equipped to handle every step of the mailing process to ensure your holiday greeting cards are delivered on time. This includes processing your mailing list, sorting, postage, and delivering the mailing to the post office.

Don’t let the stress of overwhelming workloads and shipping deadlines ruin your holiday.

For more information about our business services, contact Babs Sefiane at (412)-471-2600 ext. 261 or bsefiane@lifesworkwpa.org

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Life’sWork of Western PA partners with Black Locust Lumber in Sustainability

Category:What's New

This fall, Life’sWork of Western PA has launched a partnership with Black Locust Lumber. The new business relationship will provide our clients with the opportunity to assemble Black Locust’s wooden sustainable Proflow pavers and prepare them for production at our main facility.

Black Locust Lumber is a global company focused on green materials manufacturing a safe, sustainable alternative to traditional lumber. The company has strong environment sustainability ties to Pittsburgh; other projects include the Frick Environmental Center and the Falk School of Sustainability and Environment at Chatham University.

“This project opens the doors to many opportunities for people with disabilities by working with companies that are focused on sustainability in the Pittsburgh region,” said Timothy Parks, Life’sWork President & CEO. “And it furthers the agency’s vision of becoming self-sustaining by generating revenue that directly supports our programs.”