Dartmouth Adult Service Centre provides useful services for local businesses
The production area at DASC is filled with hundreds of people concentrating carefully on their tasks. There’s laughter and conversation as they work towards deadlines and move on to tackling new projects.
The state-of-the-art building on Dorey Ave. in Burnside is home to the Dartmouth Adult Service Centre (DASC) — a social enterprise that is a non-profit vocational day program for adults with an intellectual disability.
DASC is known for being Atlantic Canada’s largest manufacturer of promotional buttons, but Wilson says they do a lot more than that. As their business development manager, she spends her days going out into the community to explain how DASC can provide useful services for local businesses — or even branch out to take on new services.
“There’s a need in almost every business for what we can provide,” says Wilson
DASC clients do all types of packaging and assembly, shrink wrapping, mail-outs — including folding and collating — as well as assembling kits and packaging food.
“We want to take on those detail-oriented tasks that would normally force a company to take their staff off their regular jobs to do,” Wilson says.
DASC moved into their flagship location three years ago, and it holds close to 170 clients as well as a team of 40. There are also four beautiful, modern boardrooms they rent out for meetings and training sessions.
EastLink is just one of the companies who use DASC on an ongoing basis. Remote controls are refurbished and re-packaged on site and there is an assembly line where each task is completed. A production manager oversees each project to make sure everything goes smoothly and that it finishes on time.
“Companies want to exercise a social conscience, and we provide top notch products and services. It’s a win/win partnership,” says Wilson. “But really, it’s the quality of the work we do that keeps our customers coming to us.”
Wilson says DASC’s mission, in association with its community, is to provide opportunities for adults with an intellectual disability and support them in realizing individual potential. DASC clients gain valuable workplace skills and may eventually transition to working jobs out in the community.
“Our clients come in every morning smiling and chatting. They’re excited to come to work every day and be with their colleagues,” says Wilson. “It’s a very, very exciting place to be.”