Two programs at Bakersfield ARC (BARC) are on the chopping block due to budget issues. BARC provides job training, employment and support services to intellectually and developmentally disabled people and their families and is one of our newest chapters. Assembly Members Rudy Salas and Shannon Grove along with Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall and others are championing BARC and trying to work for additional state money for the Department of Developmental Services to bring needed funds to our area.
Until Governor Brown signs this bill which protects jobs and provides services, members of our own community have been helping backfill funding through private donations. While the press conference today was billed as a closure announcement, donations continue to come in and they will keep the programs open as long as possible.
Gilbert Garcia, a grant writer for BARC, said, “These programs are so important to our community. I’m part of the bargaining team to get a good contract because quality services begin with rights for the workers.”