The store depends on the generosity and support of the community as all the merchandise is donated. In turn, income produced at the store is needed to support paid employment training programs for north Iowans with disabilities. Trainees are able to earn a certificate in retail skills created in partnership with NIACC. Skill training covers all aspects of the retail industry including operating the cash register, stocking merchandise, helping customers, accepting donations, and preparing donated items for resale.
Affordables restocks over 300 different items each day and serves an average of 150-200 customers each day.
The store depends on the generosity and support of the community as all the merchandise is donated. In turn, income produced at the store is needed to support paid employment training programs for north Iowans. Affordables gives back to community members in need.
Shop local. All proceeds from sales at Affordables and Affordables on 1st stay in north Iowan and help support employment training programs for North Iowans with disabilities.
In a unique partnership with the library, NIVC is operating the coffee shop in the Mason City Public Library Commons, Java Works, providing a service not only to those who drink the coffee but to those who serve it.
It gives men and women from NIVC the chance to learn and use job skills, said Sherri Becker, executive director of NIVC. “It encourages purposeful lives,” she said.
Becker worked with Library Director Mary Markwalter, the NIVC Board and the Library Board to make it happen. She said she first thought about what a good fit it would be when she learned the previous proprietor, Cabin Coffee, was closing its library outlet.
“I’ve been intrigued by this idea for a long time,” she said when plans were announced last month. “We’re all about jobs.” Bill Reid, who has past experience as a coffee shop proprietor, is now a NIVC employee who works with the clients at Java Works.
It is open from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., serving various kinds and flavors of coffee as well as cookies and pastries and now sandwiches with literary themed names, like Tolstoy Tuna Sandwich.
NIVC Services currently trains individuals in food preparation, service, and clean-up at an on-site kitchen cafeteria that also provides breakfast and lunch to over 50 trainees and employees for an affordable price. This training can lead to a food service certificate and more importantly to open jobs in the community.
Now trainees can move on to the coffee shop to add skills and build on customer service delivery. It is a win – win employment training expansion. Library patrons and guests enjoy refreshments and area employers end up as winners of trained employees.
JobLink Employment Services
JobLink is the service division of NIVC Services, Inc. Services are provided in businesses owned and operated by NIVC and at many locations in the communities we serve. The admissions and job placement division is located downtown at 315 N. Delaware, next door to Affordables. The job training division is located in the Work Center location, 1225 South Harrison, in the Mason City industrial park.
JobLink provides comprehensive services for employers as well as job seekers. We can help employees apply directly with a business, or we can offer outsourcing labor solutions in a variety of fields, including clerical and administrative support, food services, stocking, clerical and janitorial, and facilities management.
In today’s challenging business climate, employers benefit from our years of experience in providing well-trained and motivated employees.
Thank you To Our Partners