PDDC’s relationship with Hank’s Gourmet Beverages dates back to 1995 when its namesake, Hank Salvatore, a Philadelphia resident and regional beverage distributor, and his partners, launched the popular brand, Hank’s Root Beer.
“We are a business who needs to find creative ways to keep costs down and prices competitive, especially in this economy. Working with Marvin’s team at PDDC makes that possible,”
- Hank Salvatore, co-owner,
Hank’s Gourmet Beverages
As a PDDC board member back in the early ‘90s, Salvatore had observed our training program in action many times and was impressed. So, when the former Pennsylvania senator and his partners founded their beverage company, it just made good business sense for them to invite our participants to help their company create and distribute 4-packs of Hank’s sodas in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
Marvin Oates, PDDC’s Training Center Associate Director says that the work not only helped Hank’s bottom line, it also helped provide basic job skills and on-the-job training to hundreds of individuals with disabilities in our program over the years.
PDDC Participant Felipe Rivera packages a Hank's Beverage. Photo by Laurence Kelly/Arc-PDDC
To see more images: Click Here
|Oates believes that steady work like this gives each person an opportunity to learn job skills, feel a sense of pride and accomplishment, and earn a paycheck, helping them move closer to their personal goals of independence through choice, inclusion and connection. “We are proud of this longstanding partnership with Hank’s and the positive way it has impacted hundreds of our participants,” says Oates.
Seventeen years later, Hank’s extraordinary commitment to our work training program remains strong. Now, thanks to a global economy, PDDC’s participants re-label, package and ship internet orders of Hank’s Root Beer across the ocean to locations in Europe, Africa, Australia and Canada. According to Mr. Salvatore, now in his 90s, the partnership between PDDC and Hank’s has been a win/win for each organization.
“We are a business who needs to find creative ways to keep costs down and prices competitive, especially in this economy. Working with Marvin’s team at PDDC makes that possible,” claims a robust Salvatore, “but we are also devoted to making a difference in our community.” He says that watching the determination on the faces of PDDC’s participants focused on their task, committed to quality and proud of the job they do is truly inspiring.
Hank’s managing partner, Bill Dunman, of Northeast Maryland, agrees. “We appreciate how seriously PDDC’s participants take their jobs. These folks are such an asset to us and to the community. We could not compete for international business in such a cost effective way without this important relationship. No matter what the request, Marvin and his team never let us down,” explains Dunman.
PDDC program participant Felipe Rivera, shown above packing Hank’s root beer, sums it up best. “I like my job and I feel proud of the work I do. I like coming to the training center, seeing my friends, helping them when they need it and earning a pay check. It’s a good feeling,” says Rivera, with a smile.
In time, Rivera and many of his workmates hope the experience and training they’ve received at PDDC will lead to competitive employment in the community. Until then, they are happy doing the work they love with a little help from our friends at Hank’s.