Rivers Casino Helps Save Schenectady ARC Jobs

Since 2011, Schenectady ARC, a non-profit organization that helps those with special needs, has offered a bottle redemption program housed inside Pine Ridge Industries in Scotia. Workers collect bottles from the community, sort and provide a refund to customers.

Recently, the program -- which provides around six part-time jobs -- was in jeopardy, officials say, because at times it's hard to make a significant profit.

"Our volume fluctuates, going up and down," said Schenectady ARC Executive Director Kirk Lewis. "We would get a lot in the fall when cross country teams are doing their bottle drives then it drops off in the winter months."

That was until Rivers Casino stepped in, striking a deal with the organization to provide the Schenectady ARC empty water bottles from their customers -- an estimated 48,000 per month.

"We give a lot of water to our patrons; they're out using our machines getting thirsty, so we freely give out bottles. We can go anywhere between three or four pallets a day," said Rivers Casino Director of Community Relations Scott Clay. 

The contract, officials say, will bring an estimated $3,600 in revenue per month to the organization, saving jobs and providing hope for employees' futures.

"The fact they can work here, they're working with friends and working in a place that they know and they're bringing home a paycheck, it means the world to them," said Lewis.

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