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Mon Yough Community Services breaks ground for training facility

| Wednesday, July 3, 2013, 10:58 a.m.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
First with shovels in the ground at the site of the Market Street Mail were, from left, McKeesport city administrator Matt Gergely, Mon Yough Community Services executive director Noreen Fredrick, Mayor Michael Cherepko and PNC Bank vice president Bradley Dean.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Mon Yough Community Services staff and representatives of PNC Bank, the city and state Sen. James R. Brewster's office participated in Tuesday's groundbreaking ceremony.

Mon Yough Community Services broke ground on Tuesday for an addition that will give its consumers more space for vocational training.

The expansion at 500 Market St. will provide a training wing for Market Street Mail, one of the work programs offered through Mon Yough Vocational Services. Funded through the Edith L. Trees Charitable Trust, which contributes to organizations that support vocational pursuits of individuals with intellectual disabilities, a training area dedicated to Market Street Mail will allow Mon Yough to reach out to more individuals in need of vocational training.

“We're very excited about this project,” vocational services manager Jim Wyler said. “This addition will give us the opportunity to provide more paid work training for our community members, while expanding our capacity to offer professional bulk mail services to local businesses.”

Market Street Mail accepts contracts large and small to provide a full range of bulk mail services while providing work training for area residents with special needs.

“This addition will allow Mon Yough Community Services to serve approximately 30 more individuals per day,” executive director Noreen Fredrick said. “We can't thank the Edith L. Trees foundation enough for assisting us in helping our consumers become full contributing members of the Mon Valley society.”

Bradley Dean, a vice president with PNC Bank who is responsible for the trust, said Mon Yough programs allow Trees' vision for serving special needs individuals to be a reality. As the mother of a disabled child, Dean explained, Trees wanted her child to have the same opportunities as other children, for example to receive schooling and to be part of the workforce.

“She wanted her child to do all the things other children did ... and not to be institutionalized,” Dean said. “She was ahead of her time with her point of view. I wish she could be here, because she would love to see this.”

Mon Yough consumers Rosemary DiVincenzo of Elizabeth Township and Ashley Eckert of McKeesport shared their work experience with attendees of Tuesday's groundbreaking. They agreed that the combination of making new friends and earning a paycheck makes for an enjoyable work experience.

“I love working,” DiVincenzo said of her tasks, which include labeling mail, building pamphlets and cleaning books. “The kids here are really sweet. They're the best. We do different things each day.”

Mon Yough Vocational Services also include Clean Sweep Janitorial Services, Superior Shredding secure document destruction, and the Corner Cafe.

McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said the city appreciates what Mon Yough does for area residents and thanked the agency for being a dedicated community partner.

“We will continue to support your good work for years to come,” Cherepko said.

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1956, or