NYSID recently participated in several important events across Long Island highlighting job creation for individuals with disabilities, in celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).
The Long Island Working Partnership, an ACCES-VR Consortium, hosted an award breakfast on October 14 to honor employers who hire individuals with disabilities. Each NDEAM, ACCES-VR recognizes local businesses providing the opportunity for skilled workers to contribute to their communities, earn a living wage and have meaningful careers.
Next, NYSID staff visited the Long Island Department of Transportation’s new Welcome Center, the first location of its kind at a Long Island Expressway service area, where 15 new jobs for people with disabilities were created.
American Maintenance and The Corporate Source partner for cleaning and maintenance services on a Preferred Source contract at the Welcome Center, which features a Taste NY kiosk offering travelers locally made products.
Later that day, NYSID participated in TRI Business & Career Center’s annual awards ceremony, during which Meredith Hartman, NYSID sales manager, proudly presented the Joslin Outstanding Performer Award to 2016 recipient Ronnie Windham and TRI’s Employee of the Year Award to Thomas France.
TRI was named Member Agency of the Year, and Thomas France was named Employee of the Year, during NYSID’s Annual Meeting last month.
More than 100 community residents throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties are benefiting from meaningful employment and wages on NYSID Preferred Source opportunities through TRI.
“The entire weekend, I witnessed and heard people who were told ‘they can’t’ and proved that they could,” said Heather Bushane, NYSID contract administration specialist. “Hearing from the employees at TRI was especially important to me because they are one of our member agencies that we directly impact. The entire staff of TRI was commended and thanked numerous times by the people they employ, because without them, they wouldn’t be where they are today. I was so happy to hear that, because NYSID holds contracts that help employ those people, and we make a difference in their lives.”
“These events served as reminders to my colleagues and me of the hard work we put forth year round to put a smile on people’s faces,” said Angelo Cervone, NYSID’s Long Island account representative. “From the individuals we serve to our member agencies, it is truly rewarding to know that my job has a powerful impact on the lives of others.”
On October 15, NYSID staff served as BUDDY (Because Unbelievable Dedication Deserves You) volunteers with The League of YES, a baseball program for children with disabilities, by assisting players around the bases and in the field.
“It brings me so much pride to have my colleagues take time out of their weekend and travel all the way from Albany to Long Island to see how much The League of YES is helping children with disabilities,” said Kristine Fitzpatrick, NYSID’s higher education account manager, and executive director and founder of The League of YES. “The fun part of running my league is that these children are all potential future workers on NYSID Preferred Source contracts.”
“Visiting The League of YES was probably the most touching experience of my visit, if not my life,” Bushane said. “Through The League of YES, these children are able to feel equal and be given the same opportunity as other children, just as we do for adults when we employ them on a Preferred Source contract. It is truly wonderful to know I am a part of something that lets people know ‘they can’ and that they are just like everyone else.”
Finally, NYSID participated with American Maintenance in the first University Recycle Challenge Day at Stony Brook University, joining numerous universities across the country that also undertook the challenge.
NYSID and American Maintenance representatives walked the parking lot before Stony Brook’s homecoming football game, collecting water bottles, soda cans and trash. The goal was to collect the most recyclables, determined by a weigh-in at day’s end.
Stony Brook has a long history of providing jobs for people with disabilities, in academic buildings and its prestigious Cancer Center. This was a great opportunity for NYSID to give back to a renowned institution that celebrates the spirit of NDEAM all year long.
Each October, NDEAM reflects the important role disability plays in workforce diversity. #InclusionWorks #EmploymentEmpowers