Ascension Parish community photo gallery for Dec. 25, 2014 _lowres

Photo provided by Jody Picou -- Gathering recently to announce that AT&T donated $1,500 to the Arc of East Ascension, from left, are, Dennis Stevens, Arc business operations manager; Arc Executive Director Norma Dukes; State Rep. Johnny Berthelot andBerry Burnside-Balfour, regional director for AT&T.

The Arc of East Ascension recently announced a $1,500 contribution from AT&T to help purchase new equipment and update its job training space.

The mission of the Arc of East Ascension, one of the oldest and largest nonprofit agencies based in Ascension Parish, is to see a future for people with disabilities that is all-inclusive and ensures a quality of life through education, employment, family/community involvement, housing, recreation and access to services, a news release from the Arc said.

“The Arc of East Ascension gives individuals with developmental disabilities the chance to learn valuable work skills and earn an income,” said State Rep. Johnny Berthelot. “The jobs that the participants learn and perform on a regular basis not only promote well-being and independence, but also provide our local businesses with dependable, productive and stable workers who are able and eager to perform a variety of jobs in the community.”

Some of the work training programs include janitorial services, lawn and grounds maintenance, retail and retail support, restaurant support, grocery store/wholesale support and others, the release said.

“We appreciate the support of State Representative Johnny Berthelot and our corporate allies,” said Norma Dukes, executive director, Arc of East Ascension.

Dukes said that in addition to our training and support program that gives residents with disabilities the dignity and self-esteem resulting from valued, meaningful work, the day habilitation programs at the agency allow residents with the most significant intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity “to learn and maintain various life and social skills by being involved in community outings and activities to help them learn and sustain these important skills.”

“AT&T is committed to building, strengthening and enhancing the lives of those who live and work in the communities we serve,” said Berry Balfour, AT&T Louisiana regional director of external affairs.