Ohio Pizza shop provides opportunities for people with special needs

Posted at 9:06 PM, Mar 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-11 21:06:09-04

Garfield Heights, Ohio--The Pizza Pan restaurant in Garfield Heights, Ohio held a grand re-opening on Saturday afternoon.

It will now be operated during the day by adults with disabilities.

The idea is the brainchild of Judith Nagy of New Hope Specialized Services, Pizza Pan’s newest franchisee.

"There are a couple of stores that are empty now, and I saw the opportunity.  We can open it up for the special needs community, and hire them, obviously under supervision, and they are going to work here," says Nagy.

Currently, New Hope is providing jobs for 68 adults with disabilities.

The difference now will be instead of the work coming to them, they will go to work.

"They are interested in so-called real jobs. They call it real jobs, to go out in the community, and many of these people don't have the opportunity to work somewhere else," says Nagy.

Karen Vershall currently works at New Hope and is looking forward to her new job with Pizza Pan.

"At Pizza Pan I hope to learn the registers," says Vershall.

"If it works here in Garfield Heights, which has begun, we're looking to take that model to other Pizza Pans. You are going to get good Pizza, these folks are supervised, and what happens is good pizza, good people, and you put those things together, and it makes for a great community," says a customer.