ArcGNO, which is well known throughout the southern region for its Mardi Gras Recycling Center, works diligently to create, through education, advocacy, and support, a greater New Orleans community that includes, accepts, and celebrates people with intellectual/developmental disabilities(IDD). Every year, our nonprofit’s Mardi Gras Recycling Center, along with other group-based and community employment opportunities, provides jobs to its participants with IDD.
Through our community employment services, we provide individualized skills assessment and job placement in community businesses. Those who qualify through Louisiana Rehabilitation Services and desire to work in local businesses, such as Rouses, Mr. Ed’s Oyster House, the U.S. Naval Base, and more, are assisted in finding employment and provided with ongoing-site jobs coaching at their place of employment.
Through our Arc Enterprises employment services, participants with IDD are paid by ArcGNO to service contracts that our nonprofit secures, which includes commercial groundskeeping crews, janitorial services, and the Mardi Gras Recycling Center. ArcGNO participants who work at the Mardi Gras Recycling Center sort and package Mardi Gras throws that are later sent to the bead store for future purchases. The Mardi Gras Recycling Center has become one of the most popular locations for parade-riders and Krewe of House Floats enthusiasts to shop for beads, plush throws, trinkets, and more.
The Mardi Gras Recycling Center, along with our other employment opportunities, centers around our mission of striving to create communities that are inclusive and accepting of all people, especially those with IDD. We recognize that every life is precious no matter the limitation and help each of our participants live a life filled with independence, self-esteem, and self-reliance. Our staff, volunteers, and efforts will continue to push toward providing the New Orleans IDD community with the same opportunities as those without, so they feel welcomed and supported.