To start building relationships in the community, the new Life Time athletic resort at the Northshore Mall in Peabody jumped on a proposal from Northeast Arc in Danvers to participate in their supported employment program by hiring a full-time employee with a disability. Will Sutherland, a young man with autism from Lynn, was referred to the Northeast Arc by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission based in Salem. Sutherland, 26, then worked with Sal Palermo, a lead job developer in the Supportive Employment Department at Northeast Arc, to find and secure a job.

Sutherland works on the operations team maintaining locker rooms, folding towels, performing cleanliness checks, and general upkeep throughout the facilities. He is compensated equally to his peers. His shifts at the club are typically five hours long and he works 15-18 hours a week in total, which is comparable with other employees. The average team member works about 12 hours a week, said Andrew O’Donnell, the general manager of Life Time in Peabody. “When we build a club, we try to truly be a part of the community,” said O’Donnell.

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Photo: Alena Kuzub, Daily Item


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