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August 10, 2020
Arc of South Norfolk, Lifeworks Merge to Become Lifework Arc
Lifeworks Arc

July 3, 2020 — The Arc of South Norfolk and Lifeworks, longtime affiliated nonprofit providers of services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, based in Westwood, this week announced they will merge to become Lifeworks Arc.

While The Arc of South Norfolk and Lifeworks are two separate legal entities, each with their own board of directors, they have been affiliated since 1990 and led by Daniel Burke, who has been chief executive officer of both organizations.

“After taking time to thoughtfully review our structures, we believe a combined Lifeworks Arc is stronger than the sum of its parts,” said Burke, who will continue to lead Lifeworks Arc. “Through one united organization, mission and vision, I am confident in our resiliency and our strong position as a leader in human services in the Commonwealth.”

The merger, which will be formalized Oct. 1, will achieve efficiencies, which may mean some vacant positions will not be filled, there will be no layoffs as a result of the merger and no programs will close, Lifeworks Arc said. Lifeworks has 277 employees and the Lifeworks has 151.

The two boards of directors will be dissolved and a new board will be created for Lifeworks Arc with members from both boards.

Merger discussions sprang from a strategic process that began in March 2019, which, according to an organization spokesperson, recognized that agencies that are diverse, flexible, and comprehensive, allowing flexible based on choices of the people it serves were better positioned to succeed in light of anticipated evolution of federal and state funding changes and the growing role of health insurance companies.

“Since 1990, both organizations continued to grow and work collaboratively to meet the needs of the individuals supported by the agencies,” said Dennis Carroll, board chair of The Arc of South Norfolk and the chair-elect of Lifeworks Arc. “As the way services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities changes, so must we. This merger will simplify contracting with the agencies that fund our work and position the new organization for continued growth.”

Previously, Burke, who has been leading both entities since 2010, devoted about 60% of his time to Lifeworks and the remainder of his time to the Arc of South Norfolk.

The Arc of South Norfolk was founded in 1954 by families seeking to advocate for and create services for their children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. By the 1970s, it had developed a number of integrated, community-based programs for children and began offering day programs and employment services for adults, leading to the creation of Lifeworks within the Arc of South Norfolk.

By the late 1980s, the Arc of South Norfolk and its Lifeworks programs continued to diversify with the addition of residential programs and other services. In 1989, Lifeworks became a separate, affiliated nonprofit with an independent board, but shared a CEO with the Arc of South Norfolk.

Today, the combined entities serve 2,300 individuals from more than 14 communities in the Greater Boston, Norfolk County, and Attleboro areas

For the year ending June 30, 2018, Lifeworks reported $17.45 million in revenue, of which $15.78 million came from contributions and grants, and $17.52 million in expenses, and the Arc of South Norfolk reported $7.41 million in revenue, of which $2.08 million came from contributions and grants, and $7.84 million in expenses, according to their most recently available federal tax filings.

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