Riverside and UMass: A Partnership Aligned in Values.

With the fall semester in full swing, Riverside clients proudly resume their work in the dining halls at The University of Massachusetts - Amherst. 

What do you picture when you imagine a university cafeteria? The folks at UMass Dining Services have been on a mission to reimagine their on-campus dining experience. The dining halls at UMass are truly a world class dining experience for an international campus. For the seventh time, UMass Amherst has been named Best Campus Food in America.

UMass has also reimagined how their campus dining halls operate and the work that keeps them running smoothly. People with disabilities want to work. Often, the only thing they are missing is the opportunity. Riverside places participants from its employment program at dining halls throughout the UMass campus. This partnership now extends over 20 years and continues to flourish through an alignment in organizational values. Riverside clients have become an integral part of the kitchen staff helping the UMass Dining Services team keep pace during its extremely busy mealtimes. UMass serves over 50,000 meals per day! 

Riverside clients have been warmly welcomed into a truly diverse and inclusive work environment. For many of them, it is their life-long dream to have a job and UMass has given them that chance. In many cases, the participants in this program are transformed by their experience. 

“…Their staff work seamlessly with ours, contributing positively to the cultures and values here at UMass. They are hardworking, reliable… and they like to have fun.”
—Andrew Mankus, Director of Operations for Residential Dining Services at The University of Massachusetts - Amherst.

Individual and group employment placements match participants with local businesses. These placements allow participants to work on their own with minimal support from the employer and infrequent behind-the-scenes support from Riverside. In group employment settings like the one at UMass, Riverside provides transportation to-and-from work and Job Coaches provide an additional layer of onsite support for Riverside Participants. People with disabilities want to work. Often, the only thing they are missing is the opportunity. Learn more about Riverside’s individual and group employment program.