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NYSID News Blog

June 12, 2014

College Campuses Earn High Grades, Thanks to NYSID Members

Category: General — NYSID @ 1:48 pm

With another college graduation season in the books, several NYSID corporate partners and member agencies played a key role in sprucing up campuses for the Class of 2014, and maintaining the schools’ grounds year round.

Terranova Fine Landscapes workers spruce up Baruch College's 25th Street Plaza, between Lexington and Third Avenues in New York City

The LandTek Group, Inc. in Amityville maintains the sports complex fields, both synthetic and natural grass, for Stony Brook University, Suffolk Community College and Queens College.

A NYSID corporate partner through member agency F.E.G.S., LandTek performs maintenance for Stony Brook, which includes Kenneth P. Lavalle Stadium and the general grounds for its athletic department. LandTek has been working with Stony Brook for more than 10 years, according to Jennifer Peritore, from LandTek’s Sales and Marketing Department.

“We work closely with the athletic department for its outdoor sports, all of which are NCAA Division I sports, including: football, baseball, softball, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s track, and men’s and women’s soccer,” she said. “Every day, these fields are maintained so the student athletes have a safe environment in which to compete and practice.”

The spring schedule is extremely busy, and LandTek often works seven days a week due to an abundance of sporting events. They also maintain cross-country running trails and host four track and field events per year.

LandTek employs workers with disabilities through F.E.G.S. in New York City. When LandTek requires additional workers with disabilities, either to replace a former employee or to accommodate job growth, they contact F.E.G.S., which identifies qualified candidates and coordinates interviews with LandTek project managers. Currently, LandTek employs a total of seven workers with disabilities, all but one of whom comes from F.E.G.S.

Through LandTek’s efforts, Stony Brook’s grounds are kept in pristine condition, enabling the school to host many larger events on campus, such as concerts and graduations, Peritore pointed out. Stony Brook has twice hosted the NCAA men’s lacrosse quarterfinals and the NCAA women’s lacrosse championships, along with numerous America East Conference Championships in men’s and women’s lacrosse, baseball and softball.

Carlstrom & Ritter, Inc., in Kings Point performs landscaping work at Stony Brook, employing 11 or more workers with disabilities on its NYSID contract through F.E.G.S.

They mow grass, fertilize, cut weeds, prune trees and spread mulch during the warm weather months; when winter comes, they shovel sidewalks, steps, curb cuts and fire hydrants –– everything except for snow plowing, according to John Carlstrom, president and owner.

In recent months, workers have been preparing for the school’s May 23 commencement by planting flowers and sprucing up the grounds to make sure the campus looks its best for the thousands of family members, friends and graduates converging upon Kenneth P. Lavalle Stadium.

Carlstrom & Ritter has a contract for regular landscaping work and another for special events such as commencement. Its president believes in the Preferred Source Program and the importance of hiring workers with disabilities. “We look at each individual and get a feel for what they do best. They feel part of a team and feel better about themselves because they have a job,” Carlstrom said.

Terranova Fine Landscapes in Center Moriches provides full-service, year round exterior care to landscapes throughout the Tri-State area. They specialize in large-scale campus projects including: corporate campuses, commercial office parks, multi-family residential communities, hospitals and extended care institutions, universities and select private residences.

Baruch College is where workers with disabilities hired by Terranova through PSCH/Clean Corp perform maintenance work; Terranova also performs landscaping services at the school’s 25th Street Plaza, between Lexington and Third Avenues in New York City.

Searles sees tremendous value in the Preferred Source Program and the workers with disabilities who benefit through employment. “It’s a great opportunity for them, and they care about the quality of their work,” he said. “Employing individuals with disabilities is the right thing to do.”

Baruch College shares the same sentiment and spoke very highly of Terranova, NYSID and Edwin Zitovsky, NYSID’s New York City Account Representative, in a recent letter to Joe Messina, vice president of Sales.

“I want to kindly express how wonderful it is to have New York State Industries for the Disabled as Baruch College’s landscaping contract provider among other services. Behind every great company are individuals who represent the firm with outstanding customer service. In this case, it is Edwin Zitovsky. I admire the quality of service, responsiveness and the way he conducts business,” wrote Frank Antonucci, Director of Campus Operations and Administration/Operations Manager for the 25th Street Plaza.

“I began a relationship many years ago with NYSID in which we purchased custodial supplies,” the letter continues. “Years later, it was understood that NYSID provides many other services. One is that of landscaping services provided by Terranova Landscapes, Inc. Eric Searles of Terranova Landscaping is another example of great customer service and leadership. Landscaping services are currently being provided on the 25th Street Plaza, between Lexington and Third Avenues in New York City, building interiors particular to our indoor trees, as well as some work on our south campus.

“When I needed to come up with solutions, Edwin and Eric personally came to the College whenever I needed them to meet with me. With thousands of students on our Plaza each and every day, as well as members of our community, they manage to work around them with care and safety in mind. The staff not only exhibited a strong sense of work ethic but completed each of the projects within the deadlines required. I’m looking forward to our continued relationship with NYSID and a bright future.”

To know that the contributions of NYSID’s staff reflect such a positive work ethic in pursuing our mission is extremely gratifying. Thanks to all who commit themselves to their work every day.


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