AIM buys AJ's Deli for supported employment program
SOUTHPORT, N.Y. (WENY) -- AIM Independent Living Center has bought AJ's Deli, a restaurant in Southport for its residents to participate in the organizations supported employment program.
"Something we've always been interested in is having our own business where we could do placements... assessments... work experiences, and also more permanent jobs," said Derrick Ek, systems advocacy and outreach coordinator at AIM.
In years past, AIM has partnered with area businesses to give employment opportunities to its residents, but this is the first time the organization purchased a facility to give jobs to people who live with them.
"It's gonna be a great way to provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities," Ek said.
While being interviewed on WENY's Good Morning Twin Tiers, Ek said he wasn't sure what jobs residents would be able to do at AJ's Deli.
"We're still working on all the details, but there will be a lot of different experiences they could have by working there," said Ek.
AIM says they will keep the restaurant with the same staff, menu and hours. The organization is also planning to increase its online presence with a website, featuring a menu and online ordering system, as well as a Facebook page.
"It's... got really good food and... it's popular. It's been there for a while, so we don't need to do much, but just some little things to... help improve it," Ek said.
AJ's Deli is found in the Southport Plaza, on Broadway St.