SORT’s success may lead to Maclean venture
THE SORT Grafton program has been such a success that site manager Di Luxton is looking to Maclean to be the next venture for the group.
SORT, which is a Work for the Dole program, has been operating in Grafton for three months and has already seen participants move into paid work.
"I think it has been very successful. We have had great attendance and so far we have seen great outcomes," site supervisor Blake Hammond said
Ms Luxton said: "I have a great team here.
"We have participants who want to turn up for work every day and they are showing their enthusiasm for the program.
"We have great support with our lead provider Patrick Allen, and also the community is really behind what we are doing here too."
The Grafton-based program takes old computers from schools, businesses and the local public for refurbishment to then be given to local disadvantaged youths.
"Our target over the next six months is 100 refurbished units for disadvantaged Clarence kids, and any excess will be sold to the general public," Ms Luxton said.
Ms Luxton said the change in confidence levels of her participants was one of the best things to come from the program.
"A lot start not being so confident, but there is a handful now that I can say 'yes they might have been too shy to start work then, but now they are work-ready'.
"I think it is important to note that the guys we have here, they are employable, they just need a chance."
The success of the Grafton model has led Ms Luxton to look for the opportunity to run a SORT program in the Lower River area.
"There are a couple of Work for the Dole programs in the Lower River area but they could certainly do with another one," Ms Luxton said.
The SORT Maclean centre is expected to focus on furniture and working with wood rather than computers.
"We have so many ideas, and the benefit with having a company that is new means we have great room to grow," Mr Hammond said.