Executive Director Message

Recently I was asked what I believe is the basis for Prospectus Berco’s excellent reputation as a service provider. Of course, the easy answer is our workforce. Any agency providing services for individuals with intellectual disabilities and other special needs is only as good as the people responsible to provide those services. But obviously there is a lot that goes into developing and maintaining a caring, talented, and authentic team. It begins with our hiring and onboarding process and involves clear messages about our values, culture, and expectations. It continues with effective training, on-the-job mentoring, and the knowledge that interactions are first and foremost mission-driven.

Unfortunately, our service industry is facing a workforce crisis. In fact most industries are experiencing recruiting and retention workforce challenges because, simply put, there are more jobs in Berks County than there are people to fill them. Add to this the fact that many of Prospectus Berco’s positions require weekend and evening hours, include responsibilities to provide personal hygiene care and complex medical supports, and carry low hourly rates of pay. Even with these realities, we have managed to hire and retain many amazing professionals who are committed to inspiring the men and women they support in leading meaningful lives. Treating employees with respect, creating opportunities for personal and professional growth, having a corporate foundation of integrity and teamwork, creating safe and pleasant working environments, and a generous benefit package contribute to employee dedication.

As we navigate through the existing workforce crisis, we have also been presented with heightened programming requirements due to a Federal and State mandated system transition to an employment first and community participation model. What that means is that Prospectus Berco needs to increase opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities and other special needs to participate in the community and receive employment readiness training, job placement supports, and on-the-job support services whenever appropriate. We are excited and inspired about such a transition because it is absolutely consistent with our mission. Our history documents that Prospectus Berco has always been open to new ideas, to evolving, to being exceptional at what we do—it has been essential to not only existing as a provider for 40 years but also to excelling in that role.