RICHMOND - For many people with disabilities, it takes a lot of work just to secure their first job.
But there's a program giving them the skills they need to be Positively Richmond.
Students from local schools enrolled in the Richmond Entrepreneur's Assistance Program -- called REAP for short.
Founded in the fall of 2011, REAP offers job training and employment to people with disabilities.
"We have a range of people coming with a variety of disabilities so it depends," says Acting Executive Director Karen Hannon. "We bring them through as far as they can go, so everybody finds a place."
And find a place they do, along an assembly line, of sorts.
One group fills boxes with candy, ties bows and more for REAP's heart to heart gift basket company.
The baskets sell for modest prices but provide a wealth of opportunity for everyone involved.
"You learn to be in the moment, to enjoy life and have a good time," Hannon says.
All while learning how to be a valuable employee.
"I'm enjoying just helping, doing things for the community," says participant Casey Wilkerson.
On any given day, there are students from Richmond City Schools, Henrico, Chesterfield or Hanover.
Since the program's inception, many participants have moved on.
"Some of them have gone to work in retail stores, others have gone on to work in cafeterias and food service" Hannon says. "Whatever their dream is for employment, we're the bridge to help them get there."
It gives people with disabilities a chance to grow and contribute to their communities.
That's why REAP is Positively Richmond.
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond