Filling needs: The Arc - Iberville/West Baton Rouge hosts grand re-opening ribbon cutting

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South
The Arc-Iberville/West Baton Rouge clients enjoy the grand re-opening and ribbon cutting event for the renovated building located at 24615 J. Gerald Berret Blvd. on Tuesday afternoon.
POST SOUTH PHOTO/Peter Silas Pasqua

PLAQUEMINE - The Arc - Iberville and West Baton Rouge hosted a grand re-opening of its building located  at 24615 J. Gerald Berret Blvd. on Tuesday afternoon.

The Arc operates to serve individuals with disabilities to gain vocational and independent living skills.

The Iberville Parish Council completely renovated the building where The Arc is housed in 2013.

“We look forward to many more opportunities to work together to provide the best practices for our participants,” said Board President Mickey Rivet.

The building was redesigned by Brad Guerin of Fusion Architecture and the contractor was Comeaux Brothers Construction.

“This is a beautiful facility and I know all of you will enjoy it,” Iberville Parish President secretary Judy Burleigh said.

The Arc is under the direction of Executive Director Dr. Elizabeth Fussell, a native of Pearl River, who has spent the past 25 years working in the field of employment for people with disabilities.

“We welcome everyone to come and visit us,” Fussell said. “We are constantly looking for jobs for our clients. We are open to other options and will roll up our sleeves and get out there and do whatever we need to do.”

The Arc’s employees create flatware and jewelry and offer litter pickup and janitorial services.

Vocational Program Director Traci Parsons said many clients are capable of following several patterns when making jewelry and some even design some on their own.

The jewelry is sold at fairs and festivals, Brother’s Keeper and Unique Treasures.

The Arc – Iberville supports its mission with a variety of programs and services including personal care attendants, supervised independent living, pre-vocational, supported employment and job placement and support in the community. In addition, the agency provides information and referral, advocacy and recreation and transportation services.

Board member David Gassie has a close connection to the services. His son has been attending programs at the Arc for the past nine years.

“Being here has given him an opportunity to learn within his capabablities,” Gassie said. “If there was a corridor in this building where he could have a cot, he would never come home. That is how important this is and I thank the community for the building.”

Employment Development Services’ Jan Fugler said there are currently more than 80 centers throughout the state.

“These jobs and services that are provided by the Arc are critical on a daily basis to the people with disabilities, the people that they serve and their families,” Fugler said.

If you are interested in participating, please call 225-687-4062.