Maryland Community Connection
At Maryland Community Connection (MCC), founder Andre Coates knows that having an educated, trained and fairly compensated staff is one of the keys to her agency’s success as it provides services for people with developmental disabilities.
Coates said her staff retention strategy includes encouraging and supporting training requests and retreats, offering a higher starting salary than many other agencies in Prince George’s County and allowing outstanding direct support staff members to attend a conference each year. Coates also likes to connect with her staff on a personal level on their birthdays and work anniversaries, as well as celebrating the end of the fiscal and calendar years.
“These actions have led to zero turnover in our direct support staff since July 2018,” said Coates, who has been executive director since launching the agency in 2001. “My staff members know they are valued. The most important impact of recognizing and rewarding staff is the consistently high standards and quality services we provide to the people we support.”
MCC has also developed a leadership program to provide an avenue for staff career development, Coates said. As a result, two staff members have been trained and promoted to managerial positions.
MCC does not provide group-supported employment or operate sheltered and segregated work and day activity programs, Coates said. “By promoting integration into the community, we recognize that people are capable of contributing not only to their households but to their business communities as well. All services are conducted in the community. This is the foundation of our agency.”