Back at Burnley Employment and Rehab Services in the Poconos

Back at Burnley Employment and Rehab Services in the Poconos

REPOSTED FROM WNEP.COM Author: Sarah Buynovsky Published: 9:39 AM EDT July 30, 2020.

STROUDSBURG, Pa. — A special work center in the Poconos is back open after being closed for more than 100 days.

The workers said they are thrilled to be back at Burnley Employment and Rehab Services. It was closed for months during the health crisis, but the doors are open again.

“The sun was shining and so were their smiles, they were so happy to be back. They had the welcome back banners at everyone’s station, they were laughing, they were talking, it felt like the old days," said Burnley executive director Jeff Snyder.

Burnley is a place where people with intellectual disabilities can work for pay.

While the place was closed, executive director Jeff Snyder got lots of anxious phone calls, wondering when workers could return.

“Every day, some people were two and three times a day, just checking, just checking in, we were checking in with them, to see if they were doing OK, see if they needed anything.”

Burnley is not just a place to work. It’s a place for people to socialize. This health crisis has canceled the Special Olympics, for example, so being able to connect it so important, especially now.

"It’s more social than it is actual work. It’s having fun while you are working, they’re working with their friends," said Snyder.

Fifty-three people work at Burnley’s program in the Poconos.

There are new vinyl dividers, staggered lunch breaks and more sanitizing now to make sure everyone stays safe and healthy and the doors stay open.

“I hope we get to keep doing it for a very long time. It’s very important work that we do. If they don’t come to us, there aren’t very many options for them," said Snyder.